July 3, 2012

Look at this amazing animal that I found on my kitchen door a few days ago! This is a Rosy Maple Moth (scientific Latin name Dryocampa rubicunda). It is called a Rosy Maple Moth because its caterpillar (called the green-striped mapleworm) eats the leaves of maple and oak trees.

When you walk outside in the morning, you will find sleeping moths all around you. Look at leaves, screen doors, the side of your house, tree trunks. Most moths are nocturnal ("nocturnal" means that they are awake at night and sleep during the day), so you can find them and photograph them during the daytime.

How did I know the name of this moth? I have studied animals all my life and know a lot about them, but that doesn’t mean I automatically know the name of everything that I see. However, if I look at all its different qualities and observe very carefully, I usually have enough information to look it up and find out what it is. You can do that, too, by using my Summer Vacation Science Observation Log. It is a sheet that you can download here, and when you answer all the questions and fill it out, you will usually be able to figure out exactly what wild creature you are observing.

Here is my observation log for the Rosy Maple Moth. Look at all the information I got, just by looking and observing carefully.


Download your own copy of the Summer Vacation Science Observation log, print out a bunch of copies, and see how many cool things you can observe this summer. I bet it will be a lot!


Posted by: Seymour Simon

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