White-lined Sphinx Moth

by Skip Via
skip@westvalleynaturalists.org

White-lined sphinx moths (Hyles lineata) are one of over a thousand varieties of sphinx moths, most of which occur in tropical zones. This one is common throughout most of Central America and North America to southern Canada. Hyles lineata is a type of hawk moth, but they are often called hummingbird moths because they resemble hummingbirds in appearance, size, and actions. They are generally common here in the valley, although their population numbers and locations vary from year to year.

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Butterfly Concerns

by Pat Jaquith
pat@westvalleynaturalists.org


Nymphalis antiopa (Mourning Cloak Butterfly), the Montana State Butterfly

The sight of a Mourning Cloak butterfly is a sure sign of spring to me! In late fall, they crawl behind loose bark on a tree where they increase the level of glycerol in their blood, convert excess water in their bodies into a gelatin-like substance that doesn’t freeze, and spend the winter. As spring warmth arrives, they reverse those properties and start flying sooner than many others! Many butterflies endure the winter as eggs, caterpillars, or in a chrysalis. A few, like Monarchs, migrate to warmer climates.

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