Wednesday, May 12, 2010

gorgeous, elegant white moth + spider question...

Two posts today 'cause of impending field work, so biobabbler may be electronically quiet for a few days (i.e. babbling live to other biologists while cruising for wildlife sign).

So, extra babble dose:
1. Beautiful stranger.

Profile of beauty. 

Wing-top view (this is where it becomes clear the moth is not well).

 Took this shot so we could see the antenna clearly, but I like this portrait best. 

Poor creature. Barely wiggling it's feet. But SO BEAUTIFUL. I moved it into some more natural habitat, away from the peril-from-passing-peds zone. Found it during a quick errand on the way to Yosemite Valley, Sunday morning.

E-mailed a moth friend and he said if there is red on the forelegs then it's the vestal tiger moth (Spilosoma vestalis). Genus for sure is Spilosoma. I see some red, but this poor pup is pretty beat up, so it's hard to say.

Now I know to take a front shot with forelegs in clear view next time I find a moth (especially fuzzy gorgeous white moth).

Thanks D!

2. In which family does my lovely spider belong?

This shot looks exactly like my spider, and it's in the Thomisidae family, crab spiders.

But, so does this one, which is listed as being in Philodromidae, running crab spiders.

The first is UC Berkeley's CalPhotos, the second is University of Michigan's site. I love the UM site but they explicitly disclaim super-accuracy, being run by and for students, so I'd kinda lay my $ on UCB's classification if these are all the same creature.

Plus, the running crab spider pics on don't look much like mine. So, my guess is Thomisidae.

The back legs are small and slender, and the Thomisidae is supposed to have smaller back legs than Philodromidae, but I have no perspective from which to render a comparison.

Any spider-y experts out there (or any sort of entomologically savvy person)? Please render your opinion.

=) biobabbler

1 comment:

  1. I am absolutely not an expert, but judging by the coloration and the hairs on the abdomen, it is not Misumena vatia.It looks like a male, and I am wondering if this might be genus Misumenops.


Cool people write inside rectangles....