07.13.2021 Grape Plume Moth

This moth- Geina periscelidactylus which is not the first image that comes to mind when you think of a moth landed on a milkweed leaf as a gentle rain was falling. Every day there is something different on our milkweeds but so far nary a Monarch larva. We have been visited by the butterfly and I did find an egg under one leaf but that apparently was eaten by someone and no caterpillars yet.

I think it is interesting that its species name sounds like pterodactyl. It does seem a bit prehistoric.

In case you are wondering why only part of the leaf is sharp, the leaf was curled and the idea when photographing a moth or other subject is to get as parallel to the subject as possible so that take priority and the leaf second place. This was shot at f/16 so even with that increase depth of field the leaf still fell out.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Amherst, Closeup Photography, macro photography, Moths, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to 07.13.2021 Grape Plume Moth

  1. picpholio says:

    This is the most strangest moth I’ve ever seen ! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Ms. Liz says:

    Well, I have to say I was surprised by this creature’s unusual appearance!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. shoreacres says:

    It took me a while to figure out that those long appendages are the third pair of legs. One site did say that the moth’s hairs resemble bird feathers, which makes some sense of the name. The species name, periscelidactylus, did bring to mind a Pterodactyl with a periscope, which is an odd image in any number of ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, but it’s the ptero part of pterodactyl that is a synonymous relative of the native English word feather, whereas the dactyl part that’s present in periscelidactylus means ‘finger.’ That said, it’s hard to beat your image of a pterodactyl with a periscope. You can imagine Humphrey Bogart playing the role and saying “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • What raised my curiosity, aside from everything about them, are those thorny appendages on the rear legs. They reminded me of the barbs on the protective covering some barbarians are depicted as wearing. They look more like raspberry brambles than legs.


  4. The species name seems to be Greek for ‘fingers [dactyl] around [peri] its legs [scel],’ which fits what your picture shows. As for the way the lower part of the leaf appears in the photograph, we could call it photographically deciduous.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Todd Henson says:

    Wow, I would not have known to identify this as a moth. I would have thought it some interesting looking biting insect (and I’m a bit annoyed with biting insects at the moment as I’m still recovering from an encounter with a large group of chiggers). Great shot, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think we experience chiggers here but maybe I have just been lucky. I am not sure I would trade them for ticks but at least, as far as I am aware, they only bite and do not cause a disease. Thanks, Todd!


  6. Littlesundog says:

    That doesn’t look like a moth to me! Ninja insect was the first thought in my mind – it looks as if it is ready for battle!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Peter Klopp says:

    A moth? I am truly astounded at what mother nature can create. It looks like a creature out of a sci-fi horror movie. Great shot!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Eliza Waters says:

    Great looking moth, so ancient seeming.
    The few Monarch eggs I collected on Sat. have begun to hatch. Here we go!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, that is good to hear, Eliza. Up until recently I had not considering rearing them myself. But I have looked into how to go about that and think I will give it a try. Good luck to your little charges.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. These are such unusual moths, and I often see them (or rather disturb them) in the back garden and they lazily fly but a short distance and settle. This is a real beauty, and nicely photographed, Steve!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. bluebrightly says:

    That’s a strange one and by the look of the leaf, I can tell it’s really small. I don’t think I would have thought of it as a moth. Good for you for pursuing so many insects! (In my mind there’s no problem with having some of the leaf out of focus).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Lynn. I d enjoy finding and photographing them and get a kick out of seeing a new species. I had seen this one before but good to see again and I got a better image. Yeah, the leaf isn’t that big a deal but since many of my shots do have the leaf sharp I felt it needed explaining…or an excuse. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ann Mackay says:

    Your comment about the name being like pterodactyl has me imagining giant versions of these flying through the air…oh, eek!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. blhphotoblog says:

    The beauty of macro photography, lack of dof, but that often makes the shot more appealing. Nice moth Steve!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. That is one Strange Moth Steve! Great Image!

    Liked by 1 person

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