Friday, September 07, 2007

For joy! Nature in the city

The sky is cloudy again today! Yay! Besides being delightfully cooler both yesterday and today (high temperatures of only 95ºF/35ºC yesterday and 92ºF/33ºC forecast for today), I found these two moths mating this morning on the potted cactus on my front porch. They are from the species Hyle lineata, the subfamily Macroglossinae, in the family of Sphinx Moths or Hawkmoths (Sphingidae), and commonly known as white-lined sphinx moths.

"The white-lined sphinx moth is a very important pollinator in the Tucson region. Like other sphinx moths (Sphingidae), Hyles lineata is a very fast and powerful flyer. They are able to hover while feeding, quickly moving between flowers. Unlike most moths, Hyles lineata is often active during the day, although they are also active at night. Both the thick, chunky bodies and triangular wings of the adults are striped (hence the name "white-lined sphinx moth"). The hind wings have a patch of pink, but otherwise these moths are brown and white. The caterpillars are abundant at times and are bright yellow (or occasionally black)."

~from the UA Tree of Life Web Project site.

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And after yesterday morning's rain, I saw this brilliant wildflower growing in the tree-basin on the street outside my house.

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