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Subject: Unknown flying beauty
Location: Ontairo, Canada
February 9, 2016 10:53 am
Hi
My husband took this picture in the summertime (end of July) and I am having a hard time trying to figure out what this little flying beauty could be. We live in south Ontario, Canada.
Signature: Xriss

Artichoke Plume Moth

Artichoke Plume Moth

Dear Xriss,
We believe your Plume Moth in the family Pterophoridae is an Artichoke Plume Moth,
Platyptilia carduidactylus, based on its similarity to the images posted to BugGuide.

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Sent Via Personal Email
Subject:  Moth on Door on Avenue 44
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
February 9, 2016 8:27 AM
hi, can you tell us the species, please?
and this one, from yesterday?
what happens if the porch light has attracted them and they stay all night…
will they die because they have not flown – or eaten?
c.

Geometrid Moth

Geometrid Moth

Dear Clare,
We believe both of your moths are in the family Geometridae and there are so many similar looking individuals in the family that we often have difficulty with species identifications.  The one with the elongated wings might be a Pug in the genus
Eupithecia based on this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Numbers By far the largest moth genus with over 1400 species worldwide. About 160 Eupithecia species are found in America north of Mexico.  62 species in Canada (CBIF). Several species are Holarctic.  Identification Many Eupithecia species require dissection for identification and there are many undescribed species.  Adults at rest often hold their long forewings (with hindwings hidden beneath) at right-angles to the body, giving a distinctive “soaring hawk” appearance.  Food Larvae feed mostly on Asteraceae and also other plant families.”  We would not eliminate that it might be Glaucina erroraria which is pictured on iNaturalist though according to BugGuide:  “Dissection often needed for this group.”

Pug

Pug

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth ID
Location: Melbourne, Australia
February 9, 2016 4:09 am
Dear Bugman
Took a few pics of an unusually marked/colored moth at a local native parkland recently.
It might be a variety of Tiger Moth after looking at some pics on this site?
Would be pleased if you could verify.
Thanks
Signature: Alan Gardner

Mistletoe Moth

Mistletoe Moth

Dear Alan,
This one really gave us a challenge.  Though it really does resemble a Tiger Moth, it is actually an Owlet Moth in the family Noctuidae and the subfamily Agaristinae.  We found two very similar looking moths on Butterfly House, and we eliminated the Grapevine Moth,
Phalaenoides glycinae, and we believe this is a Mistletoe Moth, Comocrus behri , which is described on Butterfly House as:  “The adult moths have wings that are black with white straight and zigzag lines. The abdomen is black on top and has orange stripes underneath, and a scarlet tuft on the tail.  The adult is a day-flying moth, with a wingspan of up to 5 cm.”  According to Csiro:  “This species is widely distributed across southern mainland Australia and can often be seen during the day flying around mistletoe plants growing on Casuarina and Eucalyptus species. The adults have a wingspan or about 58 millimetres and are predominantly black with white bands or lines through the wings. Males display what is known as ‘hill topping’ behaviour, where they fly to the highest spot on the landscape so that females know to congregate there for mating.”  There are some very nice images on FlickR.

Mistletoe Moth

Mistletoe Moth

Hi Daniel
Thanks very much for your prompt response.
I hadn’t seen any kind of moth quite like this one and it had me intrigued.
Kind regards
Alan

Mistletoe Moth

Mistletoe Moth

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: A Ctenucha moth?
Location: Panajachel, Guatemala
February 3, 2016 1:15 pm
I’m a Canadian living in Panajachel, Guatemala, in the Western Highlands near Lake Atitlan. We found this beautiful moth on our porch today mid-afternoon on a very sunny day. He was very lively! Did not want to sit still for a picture.
Black and red wing, very bright iridescent blue body.
Am I correct in thinking this is a type of Ctenucha moth?
Signature: Cristel

Ctenuchid

Ctenuchid

Dear Cristel,
You are correct that this Tiger Moth is in the subtribe Ctenuchina, and we believe that it is in the genus
Cyanopepla based on the image posted to Emtomofausac Insectos de Guatemala and the image on Neotropical Lepidoptera that is identified as  Cyanopepla bella, though we are not fully convinced that is the correct species.  We located several members of the genus online that look very similar, but none have the bold, unbroken red marking on the forewing.  We will contact Arctiinae expert Julian Donahue to see if he can provide a species.

Ctenuchid

Ctenuchid

Julian Donahue Responds
Locality?? Also, hindwing markings important in this genus.
I may be able to come up with a name if I know the locality.
Julian

Thanks Julian.  The location is “Panajachel, Guatemala, in the Western Highlands near Lake Atitlan.”

Sorry, Daniel. It looks very familiar, and I’m pretty sure there’s an identified specimen of this in the LACM collection that you can check out.
Otherwise, without the hindwing I can’t be positive about anything else, although I think you have the right genus.
Good luck,
Julian

Gangamela ira (Druce, 1896).jpg

Gangamela ira (Druce, 1896).jpg

As luck would have it, I think I’ve come close.
This is the original figure of Gangamela ira (Druce, 1896), described from Panama, which, it has been noted, is virtually identical to the figure of Cyanopepla beata Rothschild, 1912, also described from Panama.
At present, the two taxa remain as separate species in separate genera! If they are the same species, then the Druce name would have priority, but that still leaves the proper generic placement in question.
Note that your Guatemalan specimen has much more blue on the inner margin of the forewing, and may, in fact, be something completely different. But this is the closest I can come for now.
Hurray for the bobcat; we’re still waiting to see one here on our property, although we’ve seen them on some local birding walks!
Julian

Wow, thank you so much!
I looked through all the pictures I had taken, even the blurry ones, to see if I got a shot of the hindwing but no luck. :(
I’ve been blogging about my time in Guate and I think I will post this conversation up as a topic of interest to anyone looking for bug identification.
Thanks again!
Cristel

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Subject: Weird gray bug and its eggs
Location: Gastonia, NC
January 16, 2016 12:37 pm
I’ve been finding these strange gray bugs on the exterior of my hard-coat stucco home. They’re easy to kill/knock off and don’t seem to fly, but they’re super annoying because they keep coming back and laying these hard egg things (which I also destroy).
Signature: BB

Flightless Female Moth lays eggs

Flightless Female Moth lays eggs

Dear BB,
This is a flightless female moth in the family Geometridae, and there are several genera in the family with flightless females.  Our first thought is this might be a Winter Moth,
Operophtera brumata, and though it looks similar to this BugGuide image, BugGuide does not report them as far south as North Carolina.  Another possibility is the Woolly Gray, Lycia ypsilon, and it is found in nearby South Carolina according to BugGuide, but there are no images of the female or the eggs there. The closest visual match to your moth we can find is the female Fall Cankerworm Moth, Alsophila pometaria, and according to BugGuide they are active “Fall through early winter”  but the eggs pictured on BugGuide look very different from your eggs.  Pest Control Canada has an image identified as the Fall Cankerworm, but again, the eggs of that species look different.  So, while we are confident this is a flightless, female Geometrid Moth, we cannot identify the species for certain.  The Moth Photographers Group has a nice page devoted to flightless female moths.

Hi Daniel:
Thanks so much for your response! I’m glad they’re just moths.

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Subject: Giant Moth of the of Peruvian Cloud Forest
Location: Cloud Forest – Manu Park, Peru
December 24, 2015 9:46 am
This Massive moth flew into our cabin in the Cloud Forest of Peru ( we stayed 1/2 way down the the road to Manu). I thought it was a large bat at first, and took this picture. I believe they were 1 inch slats, but this picture was taken several years ago (2007 I think), and it could be 1/2 inch slats at the minimum.
Can someone tell me anything about this moth, the species, range. Unfortunately it’s the only picture of this moth I took ( as I was horrified by the thing). Now I see that it rivals the worlds largest moth. I think it was well over a foot and had of wing span of more like 14-17 inches..
Thanks,
Signature: Wendy B

Giant Silkmoth: Arsenura rebeli

Giant Silkmoth: Rhescyntis hippodamia

Dear Wendy,
We were out of the office for two weeks when you wrote, and we are catching up on unanswered mail, but since you waited 8 years to write to us for an ID, we gather you were not in a big rush to learn your moth’s identity.  Though the camera angle makes seeing the details of the wings rather difficult, we believe we have correctly identified your moth as
Arsenura rebeli, and you can compare your image to these images on Colombian Insects.  We will contact Bill Oehlke to verify the ID, and he may request permission to post your image to his site.

Hello Daniel,
Thank you very much for your email.  I hope that you had a nice holiday, that is if you were on holiday.   Yes, I guess I was not in much of a hurry to identify the moth.   It is funny as I was actually horrified that it flew into our room.  I’m scared of moths ( which I recognize as ridiculous, as they are harmless, and I’m fine with spiders and snakes)….  But I digress, but I think that is why I’ve not bothered with trying to identifying it until now.    I finally thought it would be nice to know what it was, and because it was such a large creature. I’d never seen a moth or butterfly close to that big.  I thought a bat had flown into the room.   (And then I wish a bat had flown into the room).
I received the email quoted below from Adrian Hoskins.  Given the colour and markings, I think he may be correct that it was a Rhescyntis pseudomartii  http://insecta.pro/taxonomy/16131.  Check it out and see what you think.    I really appreciate you spending time at this.
I will be interested in  Mr. Oehlke’s assessment.  He may, of course, use the photograph(s) for his website if he chooses to.
Wendy
From Adrian:
Hi Wendy
That is an impressive species. I’ve never seen it myself but I’ve come across closely related species occasionally.
It is Rhescyntis pseudomartii, or possiblyRhescyntis hippodamia (Saturniidae, subfamily Arsenurinae). They may actually be different forms or subspecies of the same taxon.
Females can measure up to about 170mm across the wings, comparing quite well with the Giant Atlas Attacus atlas, which measure about 250mm across.
Best regards
Adrian

Hi Wendy,
That actually does look like a better match.  I don’t believe
R. pseudomartii ranges in Peru, but R. hippodamia does.  I will wait until Bill Oehlke writes back.

Bill Oehlke provides the identification.
HI Daniel.
It is  Rhescyntis hippodamia hippodamia by location and  Rhescyntis hippodamia colombiana by markings
Bill

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