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]
Yipes! How a geometrid! is a diurnal species?
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.
Very nice photo.
Biosparite, how do you manage to take such excellent pictures?
Is it just patience and lots of practice?
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.