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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Elegant Sheepmoth - a beautiful and rare moth photographed by Patricia McBratney

Patricia McBratney recently noticed a colorful moth in her garden on The Sea Ranch. She sent me several photographs to see if I knew what is was. Will Ericson to the rescue! Will identified the moth as a Hemileuca eglanterina, subspecies shastaensis, which is commonly called an Elegant Sheepmoth. In one photo there are two moths. Will explained the female was higher on the blade of grass and had attracted a male to mate with her. This is a rare sighting in the Mendonoma Coast and I'm very happy Patricia allowed me to share these photos with you.

And the mating moths.

4 comments:

Renee Jardine said...

I love this moth. I have painted it a number of times but have never seen one in the wild. I will be moving to the North Coast soon and hope to see one someday.

Jeanne Jackson said...

I will join you, Renee, in looking for this beautiful moth. There is so much to discover here. I know you will love living here. I sure do!

Unknown said...

Around July 4th is the best time to look for these, typically on open meadow ridge tops.

Jeanne Jackson said...

Thank you for your advice! I believe these moths were spotted just two weeks ago. I will check with Patricia.