LIVINGSTON COUNTY – This photo made the rounds last week on social media as an outdoors lover puzzled over the identity of this mysterious fuzzy friend in Letchworth State Park.
Christy Librock Hibsch posted this photo among others to Facebook at 10:24 p.m. on July 14, with the comment, “A couple of park critters, not sure what kind of moth that is.”
Within 5 minutes, Ella Wynn had the answer, “Beautiful Wood-nymph, Eudryas grata Fabricius.”
According to butterfliesandmoths.org, the Beautiful Wood Nymph has a unique habit of rolling its wings while resting, which along with its color makes it look remarkably similar to unappetizing bird droppings.
The caterpillars eat ampelopsis, buttonbush, grapes, hops, and Virginia creeper.
The adult moths are active from May to August in the Northern U.S., and have healthy populations from Nova Scotia to Florida, and West through Southern Ontario to Minnesota, and South to Texas.
Butterfliesandmoths.org says that it can be very uncommon in some areas, especially at the edges of its range.