Ester Moth

The Geometer moths are known for the patterns that are continuous across the fore and hind wings and match perfectly when the wings are held outstretched at rest. The Ester Moth, Hypagyrtis esther, has color patterns that are cryptic when the moths are on the trunk of their host plant, pine. Its identifying characters are a gray wing with a single light spot and a dark copper colored back edge of the wing. The wings are scalloped on the hind edge. These features help disguise the moth. The Ester Moth is attracted to lights and can be found resting on the sides of buildings where their camouflage makes them visually obvious rather than cryptic. The larvae feed on pines and resemble sticks. Ester Moths are more common South and East of Indiana, but their range stretches through much of Eastern North America, where pines are present. This moth was resting next to the entrance to the Entomology Building at Purdue (Smith Hall), early in the morning in August 2013.

Ester Moth

Ester Moth

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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