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Moth Zoom In 3

Growing Up in a Big Family
Image by Joseph Scheer

Harris’s three-spot, with its 1.2-to-1.4-inch (3.04-to-3.6-centimeter) wingspan, belongs to the Noctuidae, a family that accounts for 25 percent of all described butterfly and moth species in North America. As a caterpillar, Harrisimemna trisignata resembles, well, bird poop. Inelegant but effective, its dropping disguise is thought to discourage predators and help the larva survive long enough to metamorphose into a flight-ready moth.



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