Currently viewing the category: "Moths"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kind of bug is this?
Location: Ontario, canada
July 29, 2014 6:14 pm
Found this in my backyard, but have never seen it before.
Signature: Chelsea

Clearwing

Lesser Peachtree Borer

Hi Chelsea,
Though it resembles a wasp, this is actually a Clearwing Moth in the family Sesiidae, and many members of the family are effective mimics of wasps, a physical attribute that acts as protective mimicry.  The defenseless Clearwing will be avoided by many predators who have previously been stung by wasps.  Many Clearwings look similar, and we will attempt to identify your species later today as we now have some house keeping to which to attend.  You can see many examples of Clearwing Moths on BugGuide.
  Though we at first claimed we would attempt a more thorough identification later, we decided to give it a quick try, and we believe this is a Lesser Peachtree Borer, Synanthedon pictipes, based on images posted to BugGuide where it states:  “Larvae tunnel under the bark and in the twigs and branches of cultivated and wild peaches, plums and cherries (Prunus), Amelanchier, apples (Malus spp.) and pears (Pyrus) (all Rosaceae).”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: bug or bee
Location: Belleville, PA in a flower garden
July 28, 2014 4:20 pm
This bug flies like a bee, it is all around my flowers and acts like a bee. I have never saw it until this year. It is yellow, then green, then black. Sometimes the yellow and green are reversed.
Signature: Deb

Hummingbird Clearwing

Hummingbird Clearwing

Dear Deb,
You need an extremely fast shutter speed, in excess of 1/1000 second, to freeze the wings of this Hummingbird
Clearwing, Hemaris thysbe, a diurnal species of Sphinx Moth or Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae.  Another member of the genus, Hemaris diffinis, is smaller and is called the BumbleBee Moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Alypia Forester Moth
Location: western Montana
July 28, 2014 2:04 pm
Can anyone ID this Alypia? I’ve gone through 4 different species, but the pattern of white patches does not match well to any of them. This photo was taken on July 28th, 2014 in western Montana. It was nectaring on Brassica weed flowers in open coniferous forest at approximately 3,400′.
Signature: Jeremy Roberts

Police Car Moth

Police Car Moth

Hi Jeremy,
While your moth bears a superficial resemblance to the Forester Moths in the genus
Alypia, the reason you had so much difficulty with a species identification is that your moth is in a different family.  This is a Police Car Moth, Gnophaela vermiculata,  According to BugGuide, the range is “southern British Columbia south to Oregon, northeastern Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and northern New Mexico” and it is found in “Typically foothills, mountain ranges, mid-elevations.”  As there are other similar looking members of the genus, we cannot say with 100% certainty that this is not a close relative of the Police Car Moth.

Thank you!  Indeed, I feel into a trap of my own making.  Police Car Moth it is.  And just in time for National Moth Week!
Thanks again for throwing down a rope.  I’m excited to plant some host plants in the yard now.
Cheers,
-Jeremy

You are most welcome Jeremy.  WTB? has co-sponsored a National Moth Week event with the MWHA in our local Elyria Canyon Park in 2012 and 2013, but that is not the ideal time for moth viewing in Southern California, so we are going rogue this year and having a local event when moths are more plentiful.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Black Flying Insect
Location: West Texas, Lubbock County
July 28, 2014 9:16 am
Hello,
We have seen these very pretty black insects just this summer in our yard and have tried to use on-line searches to identify them, but to no avail. I would like to know whether or not they are harmless, as I have had one land on me several times. They seem to flutter around and also do not seem to be very stable in the wind. Thank you for your help!
Signature: A. Melugin

Grapeleaf Skeletonizer

Grapeleaf Skeletonizer

Dear A. Melugin,
We suspect you may have grapes growing nearby.  This is one of the Grapeleaf Skeletonizers, a moth in the genus
Harrisina.  According to bugGuide, there are three species in Texas, and we can eliminate the Eastern Grapeleaf Skeletonizer as it has an orange collar behind the head.  The other two species, Harrisina coracina and Harrisina metallica which is commonly called the Western Grapeleaf Skeletonizer, look quite similar.  Caterpillars feed on the leaves of grapes, and according to BugGuide:  “Larvae are a major defoliating pest of grapes – Vitis spp., and also feed on creeper – Parthenocissus spp. (Vitaceae).”

Thank you so much!  We do not have grape vines, butI looked it up, and found they also feast on Virginia Creeper, which you mentioned and we have.  When I went to inspect the plant, sure enough they have been eating the leaves! I really appreciate your help.  Thanks again!
April

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large dark reddish bee with two white stripes on abdomen
Location: Queens, NY
July 27, 2014 8:59 am
I saw this guy enjoying the flowers at a Home Depot in Queens, NY. It was difficult for me to get this shot as it was extremely fast moving. I almost thought it was a small hummingbird out of the corner of my eye, When I looked closer I noticed it was an insect. I can’t find anything that looks like it on Google.
I uploaded a video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkYvP9FqovQ
Signature: Jon

Nessus Sphinx

Nessus Sphinx

Dear Jon,
Even though your image is not critically sharp, there are enough features for us to determine that this Sphinx Moth in the family Sphingidae is a Nessus Sphinx,
Amphion floridensis.  Diurnal members of the family, which also include the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth and the Whitelined Spinx (which is actually more crepuscular than diurnal) are frequently mistaken for hummingbirds.  More information on the Nessus Sphinx is available on the Sphingidae of the Americas website.

That’s exciting. It’s funny I’ve lived on the east coast all my life and I’ve never seen one. :)
That’s definitely it. Thanks!

In order to observe Diurnal Sphinx Moths, you would need to be near proper habitat, including flowering plants that produce nectar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Winged insect looks like tree bark
Location: Edom, Texas
July 26, 2014 11:34 am
Found this gorgeous creature outside my house today. Never seen anything like it.
Signature: Trixie in Texas

Blinded Sphinx

Blinded Sphinx

Dear Trixie,
This beautiful Blinded Sphinx,
Paonias excaecatus, gets its common name because the eyespots on the underwings, hidden in your image, do not appear to have pupils as there is no dark spot in the center.  You may read more about the Blinded Sphinx on the Sphingidae of the Americas website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination