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

Subject: Weird bug
Location: Pennsylvania
July 20, 2014 12:02 pm
Found this bug on my house in northeast Pennsylvania in the summertime. Any idea what it may be?
Signature: Shannon

Ailanthus Webworm

Ailanthus Webworm

Dear Shannon,
This pretty native Ermine Moth is commonly called an Ailanthus Webworm.  It is one of the few insects known to feed on the invasive, exotic Tree of Heaven,
Ailanthus altissimus, which is recognized on the government website Weeds Gone Wild as being a major threat with this statement:  “Tree of heaven is reported to be invasive in natural areas in 30 states across continental U.S. and Hawaii. It is highly adaptable to disturbance and a huge range of soil types and conditions, grows best in full sun and is tolerant of drought.  Ecological Threat  A common tree in urban areas where it causes damage to sewers and structures, ailanthus poses a greater threat to agriculture and natural ecosystems. It is a vigorous growing tree and prolific seeder that establishes dense stands that push out natives. Tree of heaven contains chemicals, including ailanthone, that have been found to have strong allelopathic (herbicidal) affects on the growth of other plants which help it establish and spread.”  Though the native Ailanthus Webworm has adapted to feeding on an invasive plant, it is doubtful that the Ailanthus Webworm will have much of an impact on controlling the spread of the scourge.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: moth identification
Location: ear Halfmoon Bay on the Sunshine Coast in BC
July 19, 2014 2:26 pm
Hi There. This moth came to visit us one evening in late June. It was quite beautiful! About 7 cm across from wing tip to wing tip. Can you tell us what it is?
Thank you
Signature: Jackie

Sphinx Moth:  Smerinthus ophthalmica

Sphinx Moth: Smerinthus ophthalmica

Hi Jackie,
We confirmed the identity of your Sphinx Moth as
Smerinthus ophthalmica thanks to the Sphingidae of the Americas website.  Alas, you moth does not have a common name, though Sphinx Moth and Hawkmoth are names to describe the members of the family.  According to Pacific Northwest Moths:  “They are nocturnal and come to light.  This species is common at porch lights.  The mouthparts are reduced and the moths do not feed as adults.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: moth in southern New Jersey
Location: southern New Jersey
July 18, 2014 10:17 am
I saw this yellow and lavender moth on an ATM July 18 2014. Only in inch or two long . Too small to be an imperial moth I think? Thanks
Signature: Jim B

Rosy Maple Moth

Rosy Maple Moth

Hi Jim,
This pretty moth is a Rosy Maple Moth and it is in the family Saturniidae which includes the Imperial Moth you mentioned.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mad moth disease
Location: Clarksville, tn
July 18, 2014 3:30 pm
Let me tell you about this moth, it was pretty big. A little smaller than a luna moth, I found it while coming home from work. It was smashing itself into the ground over and over and over, and was so loud I thought it was a dog with long claws trotting up the street to me. I made an attempt to catch it, but the damn thing would not stop it’s furious flapping frenzy. Woke up this morning to find it dead on my porch with it’s abdomin busted out like it was possessed by something unholy! I’m mostly just curious, what kind of moth and what do you think did it in? Personally I’m thinking parasite possession!
Signature: Skye

Bedraggled Imperial Moth

Bedraggled Imperial Moth

Dear Skye,
Based on its condition, this Bedraggled Imperial Moth was at the end of its short life, and it appears it encountered considerable trauma, perhaps getting caught in a storm or falling victim to some predator like a domestic cat or dog or possibly a bird.  One cannot appreciate the beauty of this lovely moth in its present condition, and we have numerous images of more pristine Imperial Moths on our site.  Like other members of the family Saturniidae, Imperial Moths do not feed as adults and generally live for less than a week, long enough to mate and lay eggs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: microlep?
Location: Midland, MI
July 17, 2014 6:47 am
Hi bug man,
I’m stumped! I have a microlep that I am struggling to ID. A homeowner recently dropped this moth off as one captured from her yard. She indicated this spring much of their ground cover and other assorted plants were being eaten by caterpillars, and suspects this moth as the adult.
This is not a critter I am familiar with. I also have to admit that these tiny moths are my least favorite thing to ID! Is this in the family prodoxidae?
I am also curious as to what to tell this lady… “this is a small moth. it’s a species I am not familiar with as there are thousands of tiny moths in Michigan that are no fun to key out. This species isn’t one that we see as a common insect pest, and chances are it is probably not polyphagous– eating so many different kinds of plants in your yard. It’s hard to help you ID caterpillars from months ago without seeing them nor knowing what KIND of plants they were eating.”
For fun and unrelated, I am sharing a photo of hatching cecropia eggs that I took yesterday :)
Signature: Elly

Unknown Microlepidoptera

Unknown Microlepidoptera

Dear Elly,
We agree with you fully that identifying Microlepidoptera is not easy, and we might spend hours on this and still be unsuccessful.  Your letter did not indicate why you are the point person for this identification, so we can only surmise that your work for a nursery, an extermination company or perhaps a museum.  We are posting your images and we hope that one day there might be an answer.  We suspect this moth is not related to the caterpillars that are feeding on the woman’s plants.  The hatching Cecropia Caterpillar will get its own posting.

Unknown Microlepidoptera

Unknown Microlepidoptera

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth
Location: Reelfoot lake Samburg, TN
July 16, 2014 7:00 pm
Photographed this moth at Reelfoot Lake in the northwest corner of TN. What is it?
Thanks
Signature: Bugman

Geometrid Moth

Geometrid Moth

This is a Moth in the family Geometridae, possibly a diurnal species, and at first we thought it might be a Chickweed Geometrid which is pictured on BugGuide, but closer inspection reveals it to be a distinct species.  We will attempt a more thorough identification in the future.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination