Sketchbook Snapshot: Mystery Moth

One foggy morning, I found this moth on the back steps of the cabin where I stayed in June (at the UW Research Station in Grand Teton National Park).

I spent a fair bit of time with this one, like I do with nearly every moth I can get my hands on.

I sketched it from a couple of angles (right to left on the page). Each time, I aimed for increased precision with how I recorded the markings on both front and hind wings. I figured the placement of the spots and bars would be key for identifying it.

When I looked through the insect ID guides in the research station library, I could only find one on moths: Moths of Western North America by Jerry A. Powell and Paul A. Opler. It’s approximately 500 pages, a hardcover reference, not a field guide. There are 65 pages of color photos (roughly 25% of “each family, subfamily, and larger genus” are depicted). Using only those images, I couldn’t figure out what the moth was. The closest I could get was something in the family Noctuidae. Continue reading Sketchbook Snapshot: Mystery Moth

A quick sketch, because National Moth Week isn’t quite over

2013_bison summer sketches (36)_Lepidoptera_moths vs. butterflies
Moths to the left, butterflies on the right

It’s National Moth Week!

Since moths outnumber butterflies 11-to-1 in North America, there’s lots to see, get excited about, and…sketch!

There’s something particularly fun about sketching moths that are visible/active in daylight – moths like the clearwing sphinx moth (also known as the hummingbird moth). And, even the “millers” that flutter around houses so distractingly can make great subjects. Continue reading A quick sketch, because National Moth Week isn’t quite over