Bark Fragment Moth

Cacozelia basiochrealis

a cryptic snout moth, Pyralidae, Cacozelia basiochrealis, in the Sonoran Desert photo © by Mike Plagens

At uv light near Rackensack Wash, Maricopa Co., Arizona. 11 Aug. 2016. Sonoran Desert Scrub, Chaparral, and Riparian habitats.

Noctuidae -- Owlet Moth Family

Most moths fly at night and must hide effectively during the day and avoid being seen by sharp-eyed insectivorous birds. When perched on a tree branch this moth closely resembles a piece of the bark. By holding its abdomen up it adds to the look of a shaggy fragment. The large eyes are ready to detect motion - the insect will fly or drop to the ground if a bird has cracked its crypsis and is attacking.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 20 Aug. 2016