Strange Lepidopteran


I’d appreciate any advice as to the identity of this unusual-looking butterfly/moth I found resting on emergent wetland plants around the western shore of Lake Carl Blackwell yesterday. I’m assuming it’s a moth given the wide splay of its wings at rest, but it was also reminiscent of a skipper, so I’m not sure. It flew slowly but its rapid wingbeats made for a beautiful display of black and white. The animal was about 1″ wide, wingtip to wingtip.

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3 Responses to Strange Lepidopteran

  1. Paul Tennery says:

    tim this has nothing to do with your pic but where did you find all the warblers at lake carl blackwell? going up there this week to see kids at OSU and will bird a bit while there. thanks, any info appreciated

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    • Hi Paul,

      Pine, Black-and-White, and parulas can be found in the trees along the main entrance road. I like to explore the patch of “cross timbers” forest south of the causeway and on the west side of the road. I’ll often bushwhack through there, but if you follow the trail ~ 1/4 mi you should reach an area of greenbrier bottomland forest associated with feeder streams and a fringing wetland along the southwest lake shore. This is one great place to find Kentucky, Prothonotary, and waterthrush. I’m out of town this weekend or I’d take you right to the spot, but you should be able to find it OK on your own. Good luck!

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  2. The insect in the photo has been identified as a grape-leaf roller moth! Apparently folks who manage vineyards are quite familiar with these . . .

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