National Geographic : 1927 Jul
WHERE OUR MOTHS AND BUTTERFLIES ROAM extends from Canada to Virginia and westward to the Mississippi. Its caterpillar feeds upon the wild grapevine and woodbine. Pholus typhonKlug. (Plate XI, figure 5). This species has a limited distribution, being reported only from Arizona and Mexico. It is a close relative of the Satellite Sphinx (see Color Plate X). Nessus Sphinx (Amphion nessus Cram. Plate XI, figure 6).- Ranging from Canada to Georgia and thence westward to the Rocky Mountains, this Sphinx is a day flyer. The wild grape is one of its favorite food plants. Erinnyis caicus Cram. (Plate XI, figure 7). -This is a tropical species which occurs occasionally in Florida. It is marked like its close cousin, the Ello Sphinx, which is the commonest of all the Hawkmoths of the Ameri can Tropics and has straggled as far north as Canada. Hog Sphinx (Ampeloeca myron Cram. also known as Darapsa myron. Plate XI, figure 8).- The Hog Sphinx is a resident of the Atlantic States, but its range extends as far west as Kansas and Iowa. Its caterpillars feed upon wild and domestic grapevines and the Virginia creeper; but they never become sufficiently numerous to do serious damage, since certain species of ichneumon flies employ them as larders for their own young. The female flies deposit their eggs upon the skin of the young caterpillar. When these hatch the larvae penetrate the skin of the host, and before the latter has reached maturity are ready to pupate themselves, which they do by weaving little white cocoons on the backs of the caterpillars. Those which escape this parasitization make themselves loose cocoons of closely woven threads of silk, spun under leaves at the surface of the ground, which is the orthodox method of many Hawkmoths. Alope Sphinx (Erinnyis alope Dru. Plate XI, figure 9).-This is another tropical species which occurs in southern Florida and possesses typical Hawkmoth attributes. Lesser Vine Sphinx (Pholus fasciatus Sulz. Plate XI, figure Io). -The Lesser Vine Sphinx is quite common in the Gulf States, though more abundant in tropical Latin America. Stragglers of the species have been taken as far north as Massachusetts. White Birch Under-wing (Catocala relicta Wlk. Plate XII, figure i).- This is one of the Under-wing moths, which have bright colors on the hind wings that do not appear when the insect is at rest. This species frequents the birch trees, and its folded wings perfectly simulate the markings of the birch bark. Its range includes most of the northern Atlantic States area. Darling Under-wing (Catocala cara Gn. Plate XII, figure 2). -The Darling Under-wing is a native of the Appalachian area. Frequent ing the maples as C. relicta frequents the birches, its forewings are shaded to give it pro tective coloration when resting on the maple. Cirrhobolina mexicana Behr. (Plate XII, figure 3).- This species has a range extending from Colorado and Texas into Arizona and the plateaus of Mexico. It belongs to that same family of moths, the Noctuidae, which gives us so many of our army worms and cut worms. Chalcopasta koebelei Riley (Plate XII, fig ure 4).-This species is an inhabitant of the arid Southwest, Death Valley being included in its range. Basilodes pepita Gn. (Plate XII, figure 5). This is another of the family of Noctuidae, whose range extends from Pennsylvania to Florida and westward to Colorado. Syneda hastingsi Edw. (Plate XII, figure 6). - This member of the family of Noctuids is found in California and Oregon. The moths fly about in the day, alighting on the ground, when the brilliant colors of the hind wings are hidden and they resemble the dust on which they rest. Stiria rugifrons Grt. (Plate XII, figure 7). This species has been found in southern In diana, Kansas, and Colorado. Little is known about the various stages of its existence. Erebus odora L. (Plate XII, figure 8). Compared with many of the lesser Noctuids, this magnificent species, the only one of the genus appearing in the United States, is a charming insect. It occurs quite abundantly in the warm areas around the Gulf of Mexico and is sometimes found as a straggler even as far north as Canada. It is widely distributed throughout tropical America. It does not breed in the United States, our examples all being visitants. Thurberiphaga diffusaBarn. (Plate XII, fig ure 9).- This is a rare species found in Arizona and New Mexico. The moth flies about the time the wild cotton is in bloom and hides in the flower when resting. Momophana comstocki Grt. (Plate XII, figure io).- This is a rare species. All of the specimens that have- been taken have been found in New York and Canada, but these have been so few that the species is missing from many museums. Cirrhophanus triangulifer Grt. (Plate XII, figure II). -This member of the Noctuid fam ily is found in the Southern States and also as far north as Pennsylvania. Ultronia Under-wing (Catocala ultronia Hbn. Plate XII, figure 12). -This species possesses a number of forms, the one shown being perhaps the commonest. It occurs from Canada to Florida and westward to the Great Plains. The moths alight on tree trunks, which the colors of their upper wings re semble.