Subject: Satin Moth (Leucoma salicis)
Location: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
October 8, 2013 6:56 am
I sent this in originally during your long break, and think it may have gotten lost the pile you received during that time. Anyway, I found this moth in Yellowstone National Park in late July or early August. A number of moths of the same species were hanging out, motionless, perhaps after a night of debauchery, on the stone facade of the Mammoth Hot Springs ranger station. Some Googling has led me to believe that it’s a Satin Moth (Leucoma salicis). Information is sparse on these. Evidently their young nibble on aspens and the like (of which there are plenty in the area). According to Bugguide (http://bugguide.net/node/view/27833) they’re Europe-native and considered an invasive pest in the US. Anyway, I didn’t see any specimens in your archives, so I thought you might want to add it to your collection.
Thank you for taking the time to resend the underrepresented Satin Moth to us. You are correct about the huge quantity of mail we couldn’t answer in August. That was one of our busiest identification request times, but a family emergency necessitated leaving the office.