I’m interrupting this barrage of Arizona oak galls to bring you a moth from my front yard. Julia spotted it this morning as it dove into the lawn just a few feet from our front door.
It’s pretty tattered, but a mighty fine-looking moth just the same. I spent several minutes flipping through all the Pyrausta species (Crambidae), some of which have a similar color scheme, until I took a closer look and realized I had the wrong family. Then all it took was a quick search for “pink and yellow geometrid” to find a match: Haematopis grataria (Geometridae), the “chickweed geometer.” It was in fact resting in a patch of chickweed, more specifically Stellaria graminea or lesser stitchwort, though apparently the caterpillars are not specific to chickweeds and will also eat other herbaceous plants such as clovers and smartweeds.