Moths in midwinter….on New Year’s Eve, I noticed that several moths had collected on the glass door next to a lamp in our living room. I went outside to investigate and found that they were all the same species….Tuliptree Beauty (Epimecis hortaria). This is one of the largest of the geometer moths in our area, with a wingspan of more than two inches.(Geometer moths are so named because their caterpillars loop up their bodies as they travel along as if they were measuring the earth. The caterpillars are also called “inchworms”.) Caterpillars of this species eat the leaves of a variety of plants including Pawpaw, Poplar, Sassafras, and, of course, Tuliptrees.
The weather has been unusually warm this Fall and early Winter, so I guess they got mixed up about when they should emerge.