Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Pale Beauty

Pale Beauty moth (Campaea perlata) on a dandelion leaf
On our walk this morning we stumbled across a beautiful moth - a Pale Beauty (Campaea perlata) to be exact. This is a medium size moth with a 2-inch wingspan that was first described in 1858. It's supposed to be fairly common across most of North America - even in the western arctic - but somehow this is the first one I've ever noticed. It's a nocturnal species, roosting by day like this one, and it lives in coniferous and deciduous forests as well as shrubby areas.

Pale Beauty larvae have been documented feeding on the leaves of 65 different species of trees and shrubs, which makes it a generalist (versus a specialist). The adults can be spotted between May and September, so keep your eyes open as summer begins to wind down.