Observation Highlight of the Week: Heterocampa umbrata

Observational Highlight #1: Heterocampa umbrata (White-blotched heterocampa)
Virginia Outdoors Foundation - Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve

© Jacob Saucier, all rights reserved (used with permission)

White-blotched Heterocampa Moth (Heterocampa umbrata) observed by @saucierj

Sometimes vast beauty can come in small sizes. That’s exactly the case with this White-blotched Heterocampa moth caterpillar (quite the name right?). This moth caterpillar belongs to the Family Notodontidae or the prominent moths. Their namesake, prominent, comes from the tufts of long “hairs” trailing along the edges of their forewings. Adult prominent moths are typically unassuming in appearance humbly displaying a drab blend of tans and browns. However, many of the caterpillars from this family are anything but modest.

Boasting a veritable wardrobe of bold bands, slick stripes, zigzags patterns, and in some species bear bizarre body bits to mimic twisting twigs, foliage, and partially eaten leaves. Besides having a bit of a flare most prominent moth caterpillars are picky eaters restricting their diet to a single family of woody plants.

We have an abundance of Lepidoptera (moth and butterfly) species along the bull run mountain range and are always excited to see a new species added to our biological index!

ABOUT #BullRunMountainsNaturalPreserve
The Bull Run Mountains are the easternmost mountains in Virginia. The Virginia Outdoors Foundation’s Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve is approximately 2,350 acres that serve as a living laboratory that sits in the backyard of our nation’s capital. The preserve contains 10 different plant community types and a plethora of regionally uncommon and threatened plant and animal species. In 2002, this land was dedicated by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation as a natural area preserve to protect the unique ecosystems found here. As the owner and manager of the preserve, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation is committed to protecting the special ecosystem found here and sharing it with the public through managed access.

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Publicado por mjwcarr mjwcarr, 05 de novembro de 2020, 08:37 TARDE


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