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

Subject: Carpet Moth/Beetle
Location: United Kingdom
April 14, 2014 2:16 am
Good Morning, Please see photos of bugs collected from carpet with rice like cocoons?? Can you identify what the bug is and what the rice bits are. There are areas of carpet which have clearly been eaten and we need to identify the problem.
Many thanks
Signature: Ashley Clarke

Case Bearing Clothes Moths and Woodlice

Casemaking Clothes Moths and Woodlice

Hi Ashley,
The “bugs” are Woodlice or Pillbugs, and though they might be a nuisance indoors, they are not eating your carpet.  They are attracted to damp conditions.  The rice like cocoons appear to be the cases of Casemaking Clothes Moths,
Tinea pellionella, a species that will eat wool rugs and clothes and we believe that is the source of the damage.  According to BugGuide, the larvae feed on:  “Feed on wool, feathers, fur, hair, upholstered furniture, leather, fish meals, milk powders, lint, dust or paper.”  The larvae, not the adult moths, are responsible for the damage.  It appears that one of the cases in the center of your “collection” is a different species in the same family, a Household Casebearer Moth case, Phereoeca uterella, which according to BugGuide:  “feed on old spider webs; may also eat woolen goods of all kinds if the opportunity arises.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Larval cases can be found on wool rugs and wool carpets, hanging on curtains, or under buildings, hanging from subflooring, joists, sills and foundations; also found on exterior of buildings in shaded places, under farm sheds, under lawn furniture, on stored farm machinery, and on tree trunks.”

Many thanks really helpful
Regards,
Ashley

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: moth identification help
Location: Benicia, California
April 10, 2014 10:18 pm
My kids and I love bugs. We found an egg sac in our yard that we have not seen before. We have been keeping an eye on it for a about a month (although I don’t know for sure how long it had been there before we found it). It hatched this morning and we found a beautiful moth (which we also have not seen before). I’m hoping you can give us some more info about what kind of moth it is exactly. Thanks so much.
Signature: Christie

Tiger Moth

Tiger Moth:  Grammia ornata

Hi Christie,
This is a beautiful moth.  It is a Tiger Moth in the subfamily Arctiinae, and it looks like a member of the genus
Grammia, however we are having difficulty finding a visual match on BugGuide because of the black base on the underwings and the intricate pattern on the forewings. We also find the cocoon to be unusual in that no caterpillar hairs have been incorporated in its construction.  We have decided to contact our friend and Arctiid expert Julian Donahue for his opinion.

Tiger Moth

Tiger Moth:  Grammia ornata

Hi again Christie,
We emailed Julian and then telephoned, but he is running errands.  We now believe this is
Grammia ornata, and you can see a selection of images on BugGuide including this image on BugGuide which shows the black base to the underwings.  The species is found in California.  We are awaiting confirmation from Julian.  We could not locate an online image of the cocoon of Grammia ornata for comparison. 

Cocoon

Unidentified “Cocoon”

Julian Donahue Confirms Identification:  Grammia ornata
You’re right on, Daniel. Grammia ornata is a western North America species, occuring from Ventura Co., California north through the Pacific Northwest to southern British Columbia, Canada, east to northern Utah, and western Wyoming and Montana. (South of Ventura Co., California, it is replaced by the similar G. hewletti, described from San Diego Co., California).
Attached is a copy of Chris Schmidt’s revision of Grammia, which has color plates illustrating all the species. Both species are illustrated on p. 578, figs. 36 & 37.  Schmidt_2009_Grammia
Julian

Thank you so much for your reply. I was wondering about the cocoon/egg sac as well. It looked like thousands of tiny oval eggs inside a silk web, but in the shape of a caterpillar. This one was on our deck under a planter, but we found two more on the underside of leaves  on a  nearby plant with the web curling the leaf around it. We have not seen any actual caterpillars in the garden, so now I’m wondering the sac and the moth were coincidental occurrences?? I would love to know more about the cocoon/sac if possible.
Thanks again!
Christie

Hi Christie,
In your original email, you implied that you were certain the moth emerged from the cocoon.  Now you don’t seem certain.  In our opinion, the moth and the cocoon are not related. 

Julian Donahue confirms our suspicions about the “Cocoon”
The “cocoon” doesn’t look like anything I’ve ever seen; almost 100% positive it’s not arctiid in origin (sorta looks like a sawfly larva to me, but that’s a wild guess and I have nothing to back it up).
Julian

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Blackberry Looper Moth?
Location: Austin, TX
April 10, 2014 9:29 am
I found this little gal on my front porch in Austin, TX – the linked HSU page says’ she’s a Blackberry Looper. Can you confirm? Sure is pretty.
~ Laura
http://www.hsu.edu/pictures2.aspx?id=16785 website
Signature: Laura

Emerald

Emerald

Hi Laura,
Thank you so much for resubmitting your request using our standard form as it is much easier to create postings if we have a standard format.  We cannot say for certain that your moth is a Blackberry Looper,
Chlorochlamys chloroluecaria, but that is a good possibility.  Your moth is definitely an Emerald in the subfamily Geometrinae which contains many similar looking green moths.  See BugGuide for the myriad possibilities.  Perhaps someone with more experience identifying Geometrid Moths will be able to confirm the identity of your moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Whilst researching Arctiids that might be found in Alaska, we stumbled upon A Guide to Nabokov’s Butterflies and Moths by Dieter E. Zimmer, our new favorite web site.  Though he was born in tsarist Russia, Vladimir Nabokov, most notoriously famous for penning the novel Lolita, probably had the best command of the English language of any native English speaking writer we can think of, on any side of the pond.  An amateur lepidopterist, Nabokov frequently made references to butterflies and moths in his work, and this site has an awesome catalog of all the members of the order Lepidoptera that appeared in his work.  The lovely Red Admiral Butterfly was playfully called the Red Admirable by Nabokov, and he also notes that in tsarist Russia, it was known as the Butterfly of Doom because large numbers of them were on wing the year Tsar Alexander II was assassinated.  We decided we finally needed a Nabokov category since we mention him so often.

Red Admiral from our archives

Red Admirable from our archives

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s that bug in Mobile, AL?
Location: Mobile, AL
April 4, 2014 9:54 am
Daughter saw this today at a park. Can you identify?
Signature: Interested Nana

Male Polyphemus Moth

Male Polyphemus Moth

Dear Interested Nana,
This beauty is a male Polyphemus Moth, one of the Giant Silkmoths.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Green caterpillar with spikes
Location: Limpopo, South Africa
March 30, 2014 11:15 pm
My mother is trying to idenify this caterpillar. It is green with spikes onthe back. She lives om a farm near Musina in Limpopo Province, South Africa
Signature: Curious

What's that Silkworm???

What’s that Silkworm???

Dear Curious,
We are a bit excited that your Silkworm looks very much like the first South African species we researched, the African Moon Moth,
Argema mimosae.  The caterpillar of Argema mimosae resembles your caterpillar, since both have double rows of horns, what we suspect to be an uncommon feature.  This image on FlickR shows the distinctive intersegmental zones.  The imago is one of the loveliest and most elegant Giant Silkmoths in South Africa.

After your email I did a quick search. It looks like it is the African Moon Moth Caterpillar (Argema mimosae)

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination