Small “tigers” in the backyard

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I continue to be intrigued by our backyard moths. I’m now seeing several of these small (about one inch) TIger Moths (Apantesis phalerata or A. nais) near an outside light at night.

Small tiger moth

I was surprised to see this one during the day on a Royal Catchfly (Silene regia) bud, and delighted when it spread its forewings and allowed me to see the colorful hindwings.

Small tiger moth on royal catchfly bud

Most of our moths are beneficial pollinators. Many of them are quite attractive, and are often referred to as ‘jewels of the night’. They are generally active at night, and identifying them can be difficult. Nevertheless, I want to know more about these backyard ‘neighbors’ and consider it a fun challenge.

I encourage you to check around your porch light or even outside a lighted window at night. I’d like to know what you’re seeing.

6 thoughts on “Small “tigers” in the backyard”

  1. Beautiful pics – thanks!
    In a previous year these were very numerous on front door screen.
    Then porch littered w wings only.
    I wondered and watched.
    Wanna guess what I learned when I watched?

    1. Saw one of these last year at the Central KY Widlife Refuge where we were dedicating a monarch waystation. It was trapped in a building and I was happy to release it to join other pollinators. When it spread its wings, we all gasped. So beautiful.

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