I have attached a photo of a moth taken here in Yellowstone County in Montana. Could you identify the scientific name for this moth? Thanks!
We hope Rainer Connell, whose name is on the photo, is a friend of yours. This is some species of Tiger Moth in the family Arctiidae, but we are having difficulty locating an exact match on either the Moth Photographers Group or BugGuide or on the Butterflies and Moths of North America. We hope our friend Julian Donahue can assist with this.
Hello Daniel, Thank you for your reply. Rainer is a great friend! Thank you for your help with this, because it has stumped us both also.
If this is from Montana it’s REALLY interesting. It doesn’t look like ANY arctiid I know. In fact, my first impression was that it is a Neotropical megalopygid. I have forwarded the photo to an arctiid specialist in Canada to see what he thinks. Any chance your informant obtained a specimen? Is he sure it is from Montana? Any chance it arrived on some tropical produce (e.g., as in a grocery store, or found inside a house)? Puzzled,
Here is the response I received from Dr. Chris Schmidt, tiger moth expert in Canada: “I agree, if that’s from Montana, it hitched a ride from the tropics; definitely not a tiger either.” So we’re back to possible Megalopygidae (Flannel Moths; the larvae are what we used to call “puss caterpillars” in Texas; they are covered with fine “hair” with an abundance of urticating hairs. Brush up against one and you know it!). There are several species in the U.S., but this is not one of them. Another possibility that popped into my head: it may be a member of the African moth family Thyretidae. At any rate, it does not appear to be a native North American species. A SPECIMEN WOULD BE HIGHLY DESIRABLE, AND ESSENTIAL FOR DEFINITE IDENTIFICATION. The moth is (a) new to science, (b) an introduction from some exotic locale, (c) or a submission by someone trying to pull your leg. Your writer might want to post the photo on the “unknowns” page at www.LepSoc.org to see if any of our members have a clue.