Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Big Moth, and a Bigger Katydid

Last night, our lit-up porch became a temporary home for two large (and way cool) insects.

It took me a while to notice this moth, it was doing such a fantastic leaf impression:

This is a Large Maple Spanworm Moth (Prochoerodes lineola, aka Prochoerodes transversata), and it was just about exactly 2 inches across, from wingtip to wingtip. I love the combination of color, curves, and size on this creature. It's certainly not the biggest moth ever, but it's the largest I've seen under our porch light so far, and I think it's gorgeous.

Even bigger than the moth, and similarly leaf-like, this large katydid was making its way carefully (upside down) across the porch ceiling:

Katydids are close relatives of grasshoppers and crickets, as evidenced by those super-long hind legs. I'm not 100% sure what species of katydid this is, but I think it might be a male Greater Angle-wing Katydid (Microcentrum rhombifolium), which we often hear making their loud click-click-clicking calls at night around our apartment. (As in this recording. In fact, I hear one right now as I'm writing this.) I really like that mottled pattern all over its face and legs:

There are so many impressive insects out there, and I'm glad these two creatures decided to pay us a visit and let themselves be seen. :)


  1. The moth does indeed look like a dry leaf - good catch! Such adventures at the screen door! ;-)

  2. I listened to that recording whilst reading your blog. It brought it to life! Yay for cool insects :-)