Currently viewing the category: "Moths"
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Subject: What is this flying bug?
Location: Rodeo Beach, Marin Co, CA
November 15, 2014 8:47 pm
Hi – attached are photos, one with and one without flash, of a flying thing that from a distance I first thought was a type of hummingbird because it was so big. Can you tell me what it is? Thank you
Signature: Judy

Whitelined Sphinx

Whitelined Sphinx

Dear Judy,
This is a Whitelined Sphinx Moth,
Hyles lineata, a crepuscular species that is most commonly sighted near dawn and dusk.  Because of its large size and its manner of flight, it is easily confused with a hummingbird.  We are thrilled that you have offered us two images, one that freezes the movement of the flight of this Whitelined Sphinx, and another with a slower shutter speed that effectively illustrates the rapidly beating wings.

Whitelined Sphinx showing rapidly beating wings

Whitelined Sphinx showing rapidly beating wings

thank you for ID’ing this for me!  And. I’m glad you like the photos.
Judy

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November 13, 2014

Dear Mr. Marlos:
I found the attached, tiny cocoon-like item in my sink (of all places) the other day. When i pressed on it, out came the pictured worm. I don’t know whether to be sorry that I interrupted its chrysalis sleep or not. I suppose it depends on whether it was destined to be a beautiful butterfly or a garden pest. Can you help me to (hopefully) alleviate my guilt?
Mark Kulkis

Case Bearing Moth Larva

Case Bearing Moth Larva

Dear Mr. Kulkis,
How nice to hear from you.  This is a Case Bearing Moth Larva and it is a common household intruder.  We have one amazing image in our archives of a pack of Case Bearing Moth Larvae eating a dog biscuit.

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Subject: Which moth is this?
Location: Mumbai, India
November 4, 2014 12:09 am
i found this moth in Mumbai, india can u help me with its name!! please and about its features.
Signature: anyways

Pellucid Hawkmoth

Pellucid Hawkmoth

Dear anyways,
This diurnal moth in the family Sphingidae is a Pellucid Hawkmoth,
Cephonodes hylas.

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Subject: unknown insect
Location: Conway, SC
November 4, 2014 6:24 am
Curious as to what insect this is. I discovered it in my meyer lemon tree in Conway, SC.
Signature: ?

Ailanthus Webworm

Ailanthus Webworm

Dear ?,
This is a moth known as an Ailanthus Webworm Moth, and though it is an Ermine Moth native to North America, it has adapted to feeding on the leaves of the invasive, exotic Tree of Heaven while in the caterpillar stage.  This Ailanthus Webworm poses no threat to your Meyer lemon tree, and it might even assist in pollination, though we believe Honey Bees do a good job in that process.

Thank you so much! Your knowledge and fast response is greatly appreciated. Thank you again,
Jim Sambroak

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Subject: giant moth
Location: Phoenix, Az
November 1, 2014 1:09 pm
I saw this MA at my sons football game today. About 3 inches across.
Signature: na

Rustic Sphinx

Rustic Sphinx

Dear na,
This beautiful moth is a Rustic Sphinx.

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Subject: Beautiful Winged ?????
Location: South Florida
October 25, 2014 3:20 pm
Earlier today I discovered, thanks to your website, that the white weevils that have been eating our Blackbead, Bay Cedar and Hollies are non-native beetles from Sri Lanka. So when I was out watering this afternoon and saw this beautiful winged insect that I could not identify I immediately thought of your site.
It is very deep, somewhat iridescent blue with white spots on most of its body including underside and legs. It is bright red back at the end of its abdomen. The wing span appears to be about 1.75″ and it is sitting on my desert rose plant in South Florida, in Broward county.
Signature: OutGardening

Polka Dot Wasp Moth

Polka Dot Wasp Moth

Dear OutGardening,
The Polka Dot Wasp Moth really is a pretty insect.  Its caterpillars feed on oleander.

Thank you very much Daniel! I would never have guessed it is a moth!
Gina

Hi again Gina,
Most people assume that all moths are small, dull colored, nocturnal creatures that eat clothes.  This diurnal Polka Dot Wasp Moth is brightly colored, and the species is also a very effective wasp mimic which provides it some protection against predators.

Hi Daniel,
From its wing shape and the iridescence color it reminded me of a dragonfly although when I first saw just the flash of white spots and red color I was excited thinking I had another atala butterfly. I’ve been hoping that our coonties would attract more atalas but so far have only seen one. But this moth is quite exciting and beautiful to watch in the garden, although I may not leave all her eggs on my little lone desert rose.
I’ve learned since starting our butterfly and native garden a few years ago, that there is such a variety of moths and that they seem to overlap in appearance and characteristics with the butterflies. Many butterflies I’m meeting in the garden appear more like what I used to think of as moths. It’s been an exciting journey into gardening, learning not only about native/invasive plants but the birds, butterflies and now into bugs! Today I was out picking the Sri Lanka weevils off some of our plants that have been so badly eaten by them, after learning from your site what those little white bugs were.
Thanks for providing a great resource and website! And your personal replies!
Gina

Thanks for your followup information Gina.  We did not know what an “atalas” was and upon looking it up on BugGuide, we learned that Eumaeus atala, the Atala Hairstreak, is endangered and it has caterpillars that feed on a native cycad known as a “coontie”.  Thanks so much for the education.  We hope you are able to provide us with an image of an Atala Hairstreak soon.  We are thrilled that you are learning about the interconnectivity of life forms, both plant and animal, in an ecosystem.

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