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by Valerie

March, 2012

Beautiful Eutelia

beautiful eutelia

We are having a very wet spring, and the moths are abundant both in numbers and diversity. There are about 2,000 species in the Texas Hill Country. They come in a delightfully dizzying array of sizes and forms. One that lives up to its name is the beautiful eutelia (Eutelia pulcherrimus). This insect is in the large family Noctuidae, or the owlet moths. It has about a 1.5 inch wingspan.

Moths are mostly nocturnal and their coloration is often meant to camouflage them during the day. They are important pollinators but pull the night shift and so are rarely seen in this activity. The best chance to see a sampling of this fauna is to check around lights that are left on during warm nights. Insects have yet to evolve a mechanism to deal with artificial light and so simply end up being attracted without having any particularly appropriate response.

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