ONH

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    1 - Forester Moths montage.

    MacCulloch’s Forester Moth, Langton’s Forester Moth, Ridings’ Forester Moth, left to right

    Obstruction Point Road and Blue Mountain, Olympic National Park, Washington

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    2 - MacCulloch’s Forester Moth, Androloma maccullochii.

    07/19/2013 Obstruction Point Road, Olympic National Park, Washington

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    3 - Langton’s Forester Moth, Alypia langtoni.

    06/09/2015 Obstruction Point Road near the Cox Valley Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington

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    4 - Ridings’ Forester Moth, Alypia ridingsii, nectaring on Olympic Onion on the peak of Blue Mountain.

    07/02/2014 Blue Mountain/Deer Park, Olympic National Park, Washington

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    5 - MacCulloch’s Forester Moth.

    06/07/2015 Obstruction Point Road, Olympic National Park, Washington

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    6 - MacCulloch’s Forester Moth.

    07/19/2013 Obstruction Point Road, Olympic National Park, Washington

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    7 - MacCulloch’s Forester Moth closeup.

    07/19/2013 Obstruction Point Road, Olympic National Park, Washington

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    8 - Langton’s Forester Moth.

    06/09/2015 Obstruction Point Road near the Cox Valley Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington

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    9 - Langton’s Forester Moth.

    06/16/2015 Obstruction Point Road near the Cox Valley Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington

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    10 - Langton’s Forester Moth.

    07/06/2013 Obstruction Point Road near the Cox Valley Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington

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    11 - Langton’s Forester Moth.

    06/30/2015 Obstruction Point Road near the Cox Valley Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington

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    12 - Ridings’ Forester Moth nectaring on Olympic Onion on the peak of Blue Mountain.

    07/02/2014 Blue Mountain/Deer Park, Olympic National Park, Washington

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    13 - Ridings’ Forester Moth nectaring on Olympic Onion on the peak of Blue Mountain.

    07/02/2014 Blue Mountain/Deer Park, Olympic National Park, Washington

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    14 - Police Car Moth, Gnophaela vermiculata.

    08/24/2016 Paradise Area, Mt. Rainier National Park

Three species of Forester moths, small black moths with white patches or stripes, occur on accessible high ridges in Olympic National Park in the early summer, possibly all at the same time in the same locations (that is, they are sympatric). We have observed two species together in one location, the third in a different location. Day-flying moths, Foresters may be mistaken for butterflies. These and other day-flying moths are sometimes called honorary butterflies. On the wing, they can also be mistaken for wasps.

While the three species look very similar from a distance, they can be distinguished in the field with close-up photos or butterfly binoculars, based on slightly different wing patterns and different colors of hairs around their “shoulders” and on their legs.

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 (slide 14).