Living With Leaf Litter

Common Litter Moth

Common Litter Moth, Idia aemula
Photo: Mike Boone

Caterpillars of the litter moths of the genus Idia feed on leaf litter. They skeletonize leaves and accelerate the decomposition of dead plant matter into soil. Some can successfully grow and develop on freshly fallen leaves. The caterpillars inhabit the forest floor where they are cryptic feeders, hidden from the eyes of predatory birds. If disturbed, the caterpillars will “play dead”. Caterpillars are active as soon the weather warms in the Midwest. During the summer flight season, litter moths can be among the most abundant moths at light traps.

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.
This entry was posted in by jjneal, Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Living With Leaf Litter

  1. Pingback: Living With Leaf Litter – Entomo Planet

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