Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

White-Tipped Black Geometrid

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White-Tipped Black Geometrid, Melanchroia chephise, Houston, Texas.

A diurnal moth, this one was photographed on the Katy Prairie NABA Butterfly Count about 30 miles NW of downtown Houston, Texas, on September 3, 2007.

Image: Biosparite [larger view].

This is a White-tipped Black Geometrid, Melanchroia chephise, although it resembles some of the wasp mimics in the Tiger Moth Family. [read more about it]


  1. #1 Edgar
    September 28, 2007

    Yipes! How a geometrid! is a diurnal species?

  2. #2 biosparite
    October 1, 2007

    Definitely diurnal. I have also seen these flying in the daytime around the West 11th Street Park in the Heights section of Houston. If you want to see another intriguing day-flying moth, hang around the high desert of Central Oregon, particularly near Sisters and Bend: there is an Eight-Spotted Forester that looks as if a strobe light is focused on it as it flies. The white spots on black background put on quite a show when it flaps across an open area in the bright sunlight enhanced by the low humidity in the summer.

  3. #3 Chris' Wills
    October 1, 2007

    Very nice photo.
    Biosparite, how do you manage to take such excellent pictures?
    Is it just patience and lots of practice?

  4. #4 biosparite
    October 3, 2007

    Thank you, Chris, for the compliment. Patience is a good part of it plus good equipment (my $250 Fuji Finepix S700 is a joy to use with its excellent macro and super-macro settings, although I need a digital SLR to come in on really difficult subjects such as damselflies). It also helps that I am fascinated by anything biological, including fossils. I find it relaxing to be out in nature pursuing bugs or whatever with a camera. Grrl Scientist is also due thanks from me for running my photos on her blog.

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