I always get a little excited when I find something in Nature that I’ve never seen or can’t identify, and this morning was no exception. We found this moth clinging to the back window of the truck. I’d never seen one like this before and had no clue what it was, other than the obvious fact that it was a moth.
The striking pattern on its closed wings resembles a dagger or cross. The photo is a little light; the actual background color of the wings is more cream-colored than white, as it looks here.
We’re still on dial-up here in the woods (they’re working on bringing high speed internet to the boonies-yes!) but I practiced some patience and did other things while I waited for pages to load, searching for this bug.
It’s called a Clymene moth, fairly common in northeastern woodlands. The caterpillar feeds on a variety of plants, including oaks and willows. Adults fly during the day as well as night, and at night, are attracted to lights. That’s probably how it came to be on the truck, which is parked under the amber colored security light.
With a little more searching I found that Clymene is of Greek origin and means “renowned one.” In Greek mythology, Clymene was the daughter of Oceanus, and the mother of Atlas and Promethus. Why this particular moth is called Clymene, I have no idea. I know there are “Promethea” moths that are black and yellow – so perhaps there is a connection somewhere in either the coloring or the species.
I suppose I’ll spend a little more time exploring that connection, but for now, I’m happy to have found something new (to me). It jogs me out of my complacency and reminds me that there’s so much more to learn. Life is good.