I spotted this beautiful moth one night and took a bunch of flash photos. The next morning I was surprised to see that it hadn’t budged. I took some more photos, and this was the best of the bunch.
When I first took the photo, I dubbed this the “Cookies & Cream Moth,” because that’s exactly what it looks like to me—cookies & cream ice cream. After some searching around on the net, though, I discovered that it is actually an adult female Lymantria dispar. I Googled on that name and discovered an entry in the issg Database. That’s where I discovered the insect’s common name—the Asian gypsy moth—and read this sentence: “Lymantria dispar is one of the most destructive pests of shade, fruit, and ornamental trees throughout the northern hemisphere.” I guess I should have killed the thing, but it was so beautiful. I suppose it might become less beautiful if there were to be a sudden population spike and all the trees started to die.
(6 September 2004)