|Mottled Rustic (Caradrina morpheus)|
Fearing making the same mistake again, I double checked my assumption and it was confirmed, which is great because now we can finally say we have had the Mottled Rustic and our species count rises to 409!
The scientific name for the moth is interesting. Caradrina was named by Ferdinand Ochsenheimer, a German actor and entomologist, focusing mainly on moths and butterflies. He himself stated that Caradrina was the name of a river in Albania; morpheus, named by Johann Siegfried Hufnagel (1766), refers to the god of dreams and it is thought to be named that because of an affinity between the ‘dirty’ moth and the divinities of the night.
Ochsenheimer lived a rather busy life as he first started studying natural history but later took up acting. While he was getting increasingly well-known and popular, stress started to build which led to him taking long walks as per advice from a doctor. These walks revived his love for Lepidoptera and soon he would be searching for moths and butterflies after rehearsals.
While trying to identify the moth, I thought there was a stain on my computer screen as the moth has the faintest vertical streak of orange on each wing. After realizing that my eyes were not playing tricks on me, those streaks helped me distinguish it from other species.
Post : Walter Chen [UPenn intern]