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Gracillariidae - Caloptilia umbratella

Gracillariidae - Caloptilia umbratella
100 Acre Wood, Winneshiek County, Iowa, USA
January 11, 2012
It's winter in Iowa although up until yesterday it's been very mild.
Last night, sitting at the computer, I had a little moth flitting at the screen. I caught it and photographed it under the scope (then let it go, in the house, because I'm not good at pinning these little guys and it's way too cold outside, what else to do?)

I'm guessing Caloptilia sp., maybe a Ribes feeder or C. umbratella as per MicroLeps. As far as I know I don't have any leaf blotches inside. However, I had 2 of these in the house last October and November.

Moved from ID Request.

Caloptilia-ish moths in the house
I had a similar experience a couple of weeks ago. I suspected that the moth had been hibernating in firewood that I brought in. A lot of these moths overwinter as adults under bark, so it probably would have been fine if you let it outside (ever try to kill a late fall-flying moth by putting it in the freezer?).

I never thought about that; I would have brought the first new load of firewood into the house in October. I do think about how many beetles I may be burning up though.

Yes, I kill most of the insects I want a closer look by putting them in the freezer. I just didn't really want to kill this one. I enjoyed having it visit me as I worked/played (I can't tell the difference anymore).

The reason I asked is that I had a moth emerge in November, and after it had been in the freezer a few days it started to twitch almost as soon as I had taken it out. I suspect that the freezer is not an effective way of killing most insects in their overwintering state, since they will be full of antifreeze.

I forgot all about that. Thanks.

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