I’ve been working on a personal project to keep me busy during the pandemic while I’m at home and not out working so I thought I should share it here on the blog.  I’ll start a new category/tag for “Things you See on Mountain Mint” where you will be able to click and view all the pictures/insects and see the totality of the survey.  I find it very motivating as a gardener to use my camera to survey and identify the animals that are supported by each plant in the garden – when you do this you really see the impact you have made for the local ecosystem by choosing a particular plant for that space – especially native plants.  Some plants may be chosen to benefit just one species while other plants benefit a wide range of species.  I have Pycanthemum muticum in my garden and it is just SOOOOOOO busy with life right now that I thought it would be fun to see how many different species I could identify.

I’m not experienced at identification or entomology so thankfully there are facebook groups for that!  Many thanks to the many generous naturalists and scientists in those groups who offer their expertise to people like me who are just looking to learn.

Here’s one that was just identified today in the Moths of the Eastern United States and Canada group.  The Celery Leaftier Moth – Udea rubigalis.  This photo was taken yesterday evening just before a giant storm came in so it was getting pretty overcast and dark out there in the garden.

This page from Michigan State University talks about the potential for crop damage by the caterpillars of this moth.

This page from “Growing Produce” also talks about the damage to crops of the larvae.

I will note that my mountain mint patch is in my vegetable garden so I think I’ll take a peek under the leaves of my beans to see if I can spot any caterpillars.

If you’re interested in seeing other organisms I’ve photographed on my mountain mint plant check out the full project (in progress) which can be seen by clicking the link in the menu under “In the Garden” or Under “Photography – Projects.”  Or you can CLICK HERE.


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