Three species of Forester moths, small black moths with white stripes, occur on accessible high ridges in Olympic National Park in the summer. On the wing, they can be mistaken for wasps. While they look very similar from a distance, they can be distinguished in the field with close-up photos or butterfly binoculars based on different wing patterns and different colors of hairs around their “shoulders.”
Langton’s Forester Moth, Alypia langtoni
thumbs 1 and 4, column 1, L1, L2, L3 (Obstruction Point Road)
MacCulloch’s Forester Moth, Androloma maccullochii
thumbs 2 and 5, column 2, M1, M2, M3 (Obstruction Point Road)
Ridings’ Forester Moth, Alypia ridingsii
thumbs 3 and 6, column 3, R1 (top of Blue Mountain)
A similar looking, but not closely related moth is the Police Car Moth, Gnophaela vermiculata, which I photographed in the Paradise area of Mount Rainier National Park.