Schinia septentrionalis – Northern Flower Moth

Hodges # 11110

Caterpillar foods:  Smooth Blue Aster – Symphyotrichum laeve  (Bugguide),  S. linariifoliusS. spectabilis in the North-East (Wagner, Schweitzer, Sullivan, & Reardon),  Aromatic Aster – Symphyotrichum oblongifolium,  and Silky Aster – Symphyotrichum sericeum (personal observation) — these are all small purple asters

I found 6 or 8 of these moths on one bunch of Aromatic Aster plants on Sumac Prairie – our largest, steepest dry prairie remnant on 9/18/2014.  Most were resting in the centers of the flowers; one was actively nectaring.

This is the bunch of plants where I found them.  I took this photo before I realized the moths were there.  There’s one moth in the center of one of the flowers in the center of the photo – pretty well camouflaged.

9/18/2014

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9/18/2014

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9/18/2014

Schinia septentrionalis 9-18-14 1

 

9/18/2014

Schinia septentrionalis 9-18-14 2

 

9/18/2014

 

Schinia septentrionalis 9-18-14 4

 

9/18/2014

Schinia septentrionalis 9-18-14 5

 

9/18/2014

Schinia septentrionalis 9-18-14 6

 

9/18/2014

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I went back several times and found caterpillars inside the flowers.

9/29/2014

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10/9/2014   This caterpillar was curled up in the space where the seeds were.  When I pulled the flower apart, it uncurled itself and crawled down the stem, away from the flower.

10-9-14 1 L

 

10/9/2014

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10/9/2014

10-9-14 4

 

10/16/2014

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9/10/2016 – I found 3 or 4 moths on Silky Aster (Symphotrichum sericeum), also on Sumac Prairie.  Two were resting on the flowers, so I got photos.  One (or maybe 2) were nectaring and not stopping for photos.

9/10/2016

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9/10/2016

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9/10/2017  I found at least 4 moths – 2 nectaring (possibly more – it was hard to keep track), 1 resting on a flower, 1 had just been caught by a spideer

 

9/10/2017

 

9/10/2017

 

9/10/2017  I hadn’t seen them nectaring on anything but purple asters before.  This one is on Gray Goldenrod.

 

9/10/2017

 

9/10/2017  Nectaring on Heath Aster

 

9/10/2017  Spider hauling its prey away

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