Cryptopod: Blue-Green Beauty

I had a weird moment in B’s kitchen last week. I was looking at the wall, and there was this thing that looked like moth-shaped confetti. I mean, it looked like a real moth, but kind of too smooth, and I’ve never seen a teal one before. The lighting was really super-difficult, and there was a table in the way, but as I looked, I started to wonder: could that be an actual moth?

Cryptopod I

Cryptopod I

Ya mebbe. I tried the optical zoom, but on the tiny screen, it was impossible to tell. So I climbed up on the table and went in close, because I r reklus.

Cryptopod II

Cryptopod II

Holy crapnuggets, Batman! That thing’s real!

Cryptopod III

Cryptopod III

And it was one of the most chill moths ever. Apparently, it’s been perfectly satisfied to hang round on the kitchen walls for the past few days, away from the rat race of the outdoors. I like moths, because they frequently allow me to stuff the camera in their faces. This was no exception.

Cryptopod IV

Cryptopod IV

So yeah, unfortunately crappy lighting, but how beautiful is that? I’ve since seen another, unfortunately when I was running late to work and couldn’t photograph it. Funny how once you see a thing you’ve never seen before, you suddenly see them all over the place.

Hopefully, one of you will be able to provide an ident. And hopefully, I haven’t fallen for yet another invasive species.


  1. Tethys says

    It is a little green moth, aka emerald, aka Nemoria.

    More info here.

    Medium-sized moths with rounded to angular wings and faint white lines, typically striking green, and often with red and iridescent highlights. Some species show seasonal polyphenism. Compare brown (typical of spring) and green (typical of summer) forms of Nemoria bistriaria.

    The antennae are so fuzzy. It almost looks like they have halos in some of the pictures at the link.

  2. says

    What a beauty! (I feel you on the crappy lighting; my camera thinks broad daylight at noon on the equator is too dark.)

    You can tell this guy’s in the family Geometridae by the way it’s holding its wings in that splayed, sort of fake-butterfly look.

  3. aspidoscelis says

    Pursuant to my general policy of contrarianism, I will suggest that this is the common emerald, Hemithea aestivaria, rather than a member of the genus Nemoria.

  4. rq says

    It is beautiful. It does Fake Butterfly very well (but too bad its antennae are so revealing).

    And I have to agree with aspidoscelis. Hemithea has a slightly sharper bottom wing point, and smaller black-and-white fringe along the wings – also slightly darker colouring, although considering it’s all poor lighting, that might not mean anything.

    • rq says

      Also, Hemithea – check out this bit:

      She ran off to escape him and was swallowed up in a chasm of the earth.

      A moth for geologists?

  5. petemoulton says

    “Funny how once you see a thing you’ve never seen before, you suddenly see them all over the place.” Yup. Birders know this phenomenon quite well, and now we can say the same for moth-ers.