Spirited discussion

When Claire was growing up, we often had spirited discussions about this bird or that bird. I recall one time at the Ft Worth Nature Center when she saw a Great Blue Heron while I saw a vulture. We both thought the other was crazy, but as it turned out we were both right LOL. Well, we still have those discussions about this or that critter. 🙂 However, she is the one that is usually right :-).

On this morning walk in our woods!

I spotted this bird-dropping moth on coralberry as I had been trying for a photo of an emerald moth. I did not get the emerald moth photo.

So when we got back to the house, we started our search for a name. We came up with the Gray Bird-dropping Moth (Antaeotricha leucillana) or perhaps A schlaegeri. The Gray Bird-dropping is usually the smaller sized. This is where our spirited discussion comes in. Claire looked at her photo which happened to have her finger in it. And then she did a calculation to come up with 10.4 mm. My estimate was four to six millimeter from memory. In this case, I believe Claire was right…this time. We both leaned to A. leucillana because of the size. However, to be certain you must look at its genitalia. First, we did not collect it. Second, it is a lot of work to get a look at the genitalia which I have never done. Third, it would have required killing it. Here is a blog that goes into the details of how this blogger did his photographing of the dissections.

Side view of the moth!

Later in the afternoon Claire found another one!

A close view of the head. Pretty awesome moths!

The Hackberry is leafing out!

The Seven-spotted Lady Beetle (Coccinella septempunctata) was at a very small thistle (Cirsium) bud.

On the same thistle above, a spider had snared a couple of flies!

A small Soldier Beetle! If it is in the Rhagonycha genus, its preys on other insects and may also take nectar.

A fruit fly (Tephritidae family)! According to BugGuide, there are over 360 species in 62 genera! This one was also on the thistle! Love the thistle!

Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know.


  1. Do you know what the host plant for that moth’s caterpillars is? Glad to see the hackberries leafing out – I was starting to think mine were dead, then I saw some green yesterday.

    1. The moth’s host plants are ashes, basswood, birches, elms, maples, oaks, poplars, willows, and others.(Moths of Eastern North America by Covell) So does that mean it likes most trees …ha ha.

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