July 18, 2013



I spotted a beautiful animal when I was eating my lunch today. This butterfly (or is it a moth?) was fluttering against the window. I grabbed my phone and used the camera to take this picture. Then I sat down to fill out my SeeMore Explorers Observation Log to help me figure out what it is.








This is really quite unusual. Everything about it (no furry antennae, no knobs at the end of its antennae, awake during the day) says that it should be a butterfly, but it looks like a moth.

I take a good look at the photograph, and then type into Google: black moth white brown spots

I click on "Images" and a lot of different pictures come up, but none of them look like my photograph.

I decide to try again. I look hard at my photograph, and decide to be more specific in my search. Back to Google, and this time I type:  black moth white brown spots pointy butt

BINGO! Sure enough, there are many photographs that look just like my animal. It is an Anania funebris, or a White-spotted sable moth. I know for sure that I am right when I read that its caterpillars feed on goldenrod. We have fields full of goldenrod in the late summer around where I live.

So that’s what I found today. A very delicate, very beautiful, day-flying moth. Nice.

If you want to try to identify animals or plants that you see outside this summer, you can fill out your own SeeMore Explorer Observation Log. Click here to download. Print it out, grab a pencil or pen, and write the most specific notes you can about what you see. Then, go to the library or onto the Internet, and use your clues to find out what it is!


Posted by: Seymour Simon

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