Olive-shaded Bird Dropping Moth – Ponometia candefacta

Olive-shaded Bird Dropping Moth – Ponometia candefacta Hodges#9090 [1]
Superfamily Noctuoidea / Family Noctuidae (owlet or  cutworm moths).
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Live adult moths photographed in the wild at Black Partridge Forest Preserve, Lemont, Illinois

Ponometia candefacta

Worldwide in distribution, Noctuidae is the largest family in Lepidoptera, with about 20,000 species, 2,900 of which are found in North America. Commonly called Owlet Moths or Miller Moths; the cutworms, armyworms, cabbage looper, and corn earworm are some of the serious agricultural pests occurring in this family.

Most noctuid moths are drab gray or brown, and have lines or spots on their wings.  When at rest, adults hold their wings above their bodies like a roof. Noctuids can be nocturnal or diurnal. Larvae feed on plant foliage, dead leaves, lichens, and fungi; some species are leaf miners, or leaf-borers. Noctuids pupate in cells in soil, in plant cavities, or in silk cocoons.

Owlet Moth - Ponometia candefacta
This moth's bird poop camouflage is among the best in the animal kingdom

  1. Bugguide.net, "Ponometia candefacta"
Order Lepidoptera: Moths. Unlike the butterflies, moths are usually nocturnal. Many moths and their caterpillars are major agricultural pests in large parts of the world. Moths in the family Tineidae are commonly regarded as pests because their larvae eat fabrics, clothes and blankets made from natural fibers such as wool or silk. Moths in the genus Farinalis feed on stored grain, flour, corn meal and other milled grain products.
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