Currently viewing the category: "Ermine 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: Beetle colored like a flower
Location: Occoquan, Virginia
July 8, 2014 9:45 pm
Hello i noticed this interestingly colored Beetle on the side of my sliding glass door frame near the outdoor light. I have never seen this species before. It has a beautiful floral looking pattern. I have no idea if that is his wing pattern or body color. I did not want to disturb it. It was there in the morning and stayed all day. I’m figuring it is a Nocturnal species. Any help in Identification would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
Signature: Mr. Joe Shukay

Ailanthus Webworm

Ailanthus Webworm

Hi Joe,
This Ailanthus Webworm is a moth, not a beetle.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: Virginia
July 3, 2014 7:36 pm
Hi!
Just wondering what this was. Thought the coloring was awesome and it struck my curiosity. Our back yard is wooded and when opening the door to let our dog in and out moths and fireflies usually sneak in, however this is the first bug I’ve seen colored like this! Here is a photo of it on my bathroom mirror
Thanks!
Signature: Kim

Ailanthus Webworm

Ailanthus Webworm

Hi Kim,
This pretty little moth is an Ailanthus Webworm.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Insect
Location: Lancashire
December 23, 2013 3:40 am
This insect was found on garage forecourt (tarmac)
in Nelson-Lancashire
I cannot find an identification anywhere: can you please help
Signature: Curious

Unknown Moth

Pied Smudge

Dear Curious,
This is a Moth, but we are having trouble determining its identity.  You sent the email request today, but when did you observe the moth?  Many times people take photos in the summer, but neglect to send the photos until the boredom of winter sets in.  With additional free time to clean up unfinished business, many summer photos are sent to us in December.  If this moth actually appeared in December, that would be very helpful information.  The first lead we got was an interesting blog entitled 1000 for 1KSQ with the tag “a blog about the nuts and bolts of biodiversity – finding LOTS of species.  But how many can you find in just a single 1km square?”  Number 940 is 
Ethmia bipunctella (moth), a black and white moth that looks similar to your moth.  Armed with a name, we learned on UK Moths that the family Ethmiidae has several black and white moths found in the UK, however, none looks exactly like your individual.  BugGuide considers that to be a subfamily of the Grass Miner Moth family Elachistidae.  We are not satisfied that we have an accurate identification, and you might try browsing through the images on UK Moths to correctly determine your distinctive moth’s identity.
Well, our diligence paid off and we finally stumbled upon the Pied Smudge,
Ypsolopha sequella, on Norfolk Moths when we included the term “pied” in our UK search.  It is listed as “Local.  Highly distinctive species.  Rests by day on trunk of trees. comes to light.”  UK Moths states:  “This highly distinctive species, with its pied appearance, is locally widespread in wooded areas over England and Wales.  It flies at night in July and August, and comes to light.  The larvae feed mostly on species of Acer, particularly field maple (A. campestre).”

Thank you Daniel;
I am delighted that you have identified  my moth, without a doubt.
You are right too about the winter gloom being catch up time; this moth was photographed on the 22nd July 2013 at 10.30 in the morning.
We live close to a small wooded area of mostly Sycamore and Ash; there are no Acer.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this bug?
Location: Ohio
October 21, 2013 2:07 pm
Can’t find this insect anywhere.
It looks like a long lightening bug with very intricate design on the wings.
Signature: Rob

Ailanthus Webworm Moth

Ailanthus Webworm Moth

Hi Rob,
This is an Ailanthus Webworm Moth,
Atteva punctella, a native Ermine Moth that has expanded its original range because its caterpillar adapted to eating leaves of the invasive, exotic Ailanthus or Tree of Heaven.  Sadly, the caterpillars will never do enough damage to the tree to help control the spread of that noxious weed species throughout the civilized world.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this beauty?
Location: New Jersey
July 15, 2013 3:58 pm
Found him hanging out on our house. Was curious to know what type of insect it was.
Signature: Heather

Ailanthus Webworm Moth

Ailanthus Webworm Moth

Hi Heather,
This is an Ailanthus Webworm Moth, and we haven’t posted a new photo of this species this year, so your excellent photo is a nice example of a recent sighting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination