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280 days of Urbpandemonium #126

 photo P1030493_zpsrf9go362.jpg
The common tan wave Pleuroprucha insulsaria* has probably become much more "common," that is to say abundant, since humans drastically changed the landscape of North America. Its larva is an inchworm, a familiar group of caterpillars that mostly feed on the leaves and needles of various trees. This species also likes to eat a number of weedy plants that human activity favors: goldenrod, smartweed, sumac. But field observations and experiments show a much more preferred food source--corn silk. They don't eat enough to be considered a serious economic pest, but appear to be the only member of the Geometridae family to feed on the top US crop.

* I am vexed by this one. "Pleuro" means "side." "Prucha" doesn't appear in any of my references, but pops up as a German surname here and there. The genus was named by a German entomologist, but he died in 1888 and we can't ask him what he meant. "Insulsaria" literally means "unsalted" and probably is meant to convey "foolish" in this instance.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
viridian5
Aug. 4th, 2015 02:58 am (UTC)
p
This might not have anything to do with it, but when I looked up "Prucha" on Google I did get that it was a name in Czech but that it's a pet name version of "Prokop," which has an old Greek origin in the word "Prokopios," which means "progressive."
urbpan
Aug. 4th, 2015 10:21 am (UTC)
Re: p
Interesting! Thanks for that.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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