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

Subject: Sexual dimorphism? Sphinx moths?
Location: Troy, VA
June 25, 2016 10:00 am
I photographed these two moths a couple of hours apart. When I looked at the photo of the second, darker moth, I realized it was definitely the same kind of moth as the first, but black and grey where the first one was white and blackish/grey. I was very excited to see such an interesting color change between the two moths. I have looked at many websites searching for these markings and the closest I have come up with is a Rustic Sphinx Moth, but really, I’m not convinced. I wonder if the difference in the moths is sexual dimorphism as I believe the dark moth to be male and the white one female. Or just the normal variety of color range in a species? I hope you find these photos as interesting as I did.
Signature: Grace Pedalino

Carpenter Worm Moth

Carpenter Worm Moth

Dear Grace,
While we agree that these are the same species, we are not convinced it is an example of sexual dimorphism, but rather, variability of tonality within the species.  Furthermore, these are NOT Sphinx Moths.  These are Carpenter Worm Moths,
Prionoxystus robiniae, a species we identified on BugGuide where it states:  “Larvae bore in wood of living deciduous trees: locust, oak, chestnut, poplar, willow, maple, and ash.”  Here is a dark individual from BugGuide and here is a light individual from BugGuide.

Carpenter Worm Moth

Carpenter Worm Moth

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large moth
Location: Collegeville., PA
June 25, 2016 9:19 am
This was at my sons door in Collegeville, PA this week
Signature: Dave C

Polyphemus Moth

Polyphemus Moth

Dear Dave,
This beauty is a Polyphemus Moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Maine Moth?
Location: Houlton, ME
June 24, 2016 8:57 am
These little creatures never sit still. I was lucky yesterday with a zoom lens.
Signature: Mike from Maine

White Spotted Sable

White Spotted Sable

Dear Mike from Maine,
At first glance we thought this was an Eight Spotted Forrester, but we quickly realized there were subtle differences.  Your moth is a White Spotted Sable,
Anania funebris, and according to BugGuide it is:  “Often mistaken for an Eight-spotted Forester (Alypia octomaculata), which is considerably larger [no overlap in wingspan], has a total of only 8 spots on the wings, and has a prominent tuft of orange hair-like scales on its legs – the ‘leg warmers’ that Hannah refers to in her image of an Eight-spotted Forester.”  Of the White Spotted Sable, BugGuide notes:  “Habitat fields, open areas; adults often visit flowers during the day Season adults fly from May to July Food larvae feed on goldenrod (Solidago spp.) and Dyer’s Greenweed (Genista tinctoria).” 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this moth
Location: Florida
June 23, 2016 4:48 am
I found this moth outside and I don’t know what kind it is
Signature: Nicholas Warren

Male Io Moth

Male Io Moth

Dear Nicholas,
This is a Male Io Moth,
Automeris io, one of the Giant Silk Moths in the family Saturniidae, arguably the largest and showiest family of moths in the world.  There was a heavy emphasis on Greek mythology when many of the species in the family were named, and the Io Moth takes its name from the goddess Io that you may read about on Greek Mythology.  The Io moth is sexually dimorphic:  Males have yellow upper wings while female Io Moths have brown upper wings.  Like all Giant Silkmoths, Io Moths do not eat as adults.  Many Giant Silkmoths have oculi or eyespots on their underwings.  The moths rest with the upper wings covering the underwings, and when disturbed, they “open their eyes” which may startle a predator like a bird into perceiving it is about to be eaten by a much larger predator, which causes it to flee rather than to eat the tasty moth. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this
Location: Pacific Palisades CA 90272
June 21, 2016 6:07 pm
Can you tell me what this is? Never seen one
Signature: Doesn’t matter

Great Ash Sphinx

Great Ash Sphinx

We verified the identity of your Great Ash Sphinx, Sphinx chersis, thanks to the Sphingidae of the Americas site.

Great Ash Sphinx

Great Ash Sphinx

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Luna Moth
Location: Bridgeton, Maine
June 21, 2016 4:36 pm
Found this guy on the cement next to a gas pump. Was still alive thankfully. He or she also did not judge me for pumping $40.01…
Signature: Dave

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

Dear Dave,
We suspect this Luna Moth was probably attracted to the lights at the all night gas station, and then remained after the sunrise.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination