Driftless Prairies: Native Habitat Restoration

Nature inspires awe!

Noctuidae (Owlet, Looper, Sallow, Dart, Brocade Moths)

Owlets are the largest family of Lepidoptera and they vary in size. Their name is derived from being mostly nocturnal. Owlet moths have tympanic organs so they can hear the sonar of bats. I’m reminded on those quiet evenings that they must be a cacophony of sound for these moths. Their caterpillars are called cutworms and they, too, are diverse in appearance. Cutworms also have a diverse food preference, with each having their specific host plant or plants.

The Loopers in this family got their name by their loopy way of motoring about. Most caterpillars have 5 pairs of prologs, Loopers only have two.

Sallows overwinter as adults, squeezing beneath shingles, under bark, or in woodpiles.

Darts are the “Energizer Bunnies” of the moth world. I have numerous photos of them beaten up and worn, yet they keep on keeping on!