How to Attract a Mate
Naturalist(s): Karen Anthonisen Finch
Date: Oct. 10, 2011
Location(s): Bradenton, Florida (map)
Bradenton, Florida

Field notes
On a foggy morning in October, I discovered a Melonworm Moth on a north facing window. While clinging to the outside of the glass, it waved frilly appendages back and forth for several minutes. The video was taken from inside the house. Unfortunately it flew away before I could examine its dorsal side.

   Some moths, including this Diaphania hyalinata, have brush-like appendages protruding from the tip of the abdomen -- called "hairpencils."

   This tropical moth is common in Central and South America as well as south Florida. As the species spreads north in the U.S., its herbivorous larvae cause damage to crops such as melons, cucumbers, and squash.