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

Subject:  What’s that bug?
Location:  Virginia
November 3, 2013 11:04:41 AM PST
Dear Bugman,
My husband emailed me this photo of a bug he saw in our yard.  I’ve seen them too, but have no idea what they are.  Can you help us solve the mystery of the fuzzy wasp moth?
Thanks,
A new resident of Virginia

Euonymus Leaf Notcher Moth

Euonymus Leaf Notcher Moth

Dear new resident of Virginia,
Perhaps you didn’t take note of our featured Bug of the Month for November 2013, because if you had, you might have recognized your Euonymus Leaf Notcher Moth, an invasive, exotic species first reported in Maryland in 2001 and first profiled on our site in 2005.  These moths attract attention because they fly in late October and November when few other insects are common.  To the best of our knowledge, the Euonymus Leaf Notcher Moth,
Pryeria sinica, has only spread as far as Maryland and Virgina, though it is expected to expand its range as its preferred larval food plant, Euonymus, is regarded as a significant landscaping plant.  We just returned back to the office after a one week stay with family in Ohio, and we commented to the gardeners in our family that the prevalence of Euonymus in so many gardens might mean that the invasive Euonymus Leaf Notcher Moth would have a plentiful food supply should its range extend further west.  The plants are now a vivid red color and you might check to see if you have any growing in your yard.  If there is a plentiful food supply for the caterpillars, populations can explode and adult moths can be quite numerous.  More information on the Euonymus Leaf Notcher Moth can be found on Invasive Species of Concern in Maryland.  This is our first new posting upon returning to the office after our holiday.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: October bug
Location: Pasadena Maryland
October 29, 2013 9:02 pm
Hello,
Every October we get a bunch of the bugs in the files below. They live only in one bush in our yard and lay eggs in the light strands I use for halloween. Would you be able to help me identify them?
Thanks!!
Signature: Carrie

Euonymus Leaf Notcher

Euonymus Leaf Notcher

Hi Carrie,
This moth is appropriately colored for Halloween.  We quickly identified it on BugGuide as a Euonymus Leaf Notcher Moth,
Pryeria sinica, and we learned that it is an invasive species.  Since Euonymus is a common shrub used in landscaping, we expect that this species may begin to spread to other states, though right now it is only reported from Maryland and Virginia.  According to BugGuide:  “Introduced from Asia; first found in MD and VA in 2001; it is spreading.”  Maryland Department of Agriculture lists it as an Invasive Species of Concern in Maryland.  There is an October 2004 update which states:  “Pryeria moths are expected to emerge in November. MDA is attempting to delimit the populations of this emerging pest. Marylanders are asked to contact Dick Bean at MDA (410) 841-2743 if you see pupae now, or moths in late October/November.”  That number might still be valid and we would suggest that you contact the MDA.  Control is probably most effective with the larvae.  Since its emergence is timely and since it is a species of concern, we are featuring your submissions as our Bug of the Month for November 2013.  Thank you for allowing us to provide a valuable public service announcement to notify people of this invasive species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unusual insect for Vegas
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
September 15, 2013 5:30 pm
To whom it may concern, I’ve happened across a very unusual insect flying around the outside of my store on September 15th. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before, let alone one that’s gone whizzing past my face just to land long enough to get a shot. Whatever it is, it’s a beautiful little specimen, a quick web search later turned this site up as the first one to ask.
Thank you for your time~
Signature: Ian A.

Western Grapeleaf Skeletonizer

Western Grapeleaf Skeletonizer

Dear Ian,
Because this insect is partially obscured by vegetation in your photo, we cannot be certain, but we believe this is a moth known as the Western Grapeleaf Skeletonizer,
Harrisina metallica.  Are there grapevines nearby?  You can also compare your sighting to the images of the Western Grapeleaf Skeletonizer posted to BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Re: Metallic blue micro-moth?
Location: Yamingshan National Park, Taiwan
April 7, 2013 5:32 pm
Hello Bugman!
I just returned from a quick trip to Taiwan. I’ve never seen it rain so much, but we managed to get some bugging in between storms. This is a picture of one of the odd ones I can’t seem to find in my books or online. We found this moth (?), which was half an inch long, around mid-day on April 4th on a jungled trail in Yamingshan National Park north of Taipei. The weather alternated between clouds and rain. I was thinking it might be a small geometer moth but I didn’t get a top view before the little guy flittered away into the mists. I appreciate any help you can provide, Bugman.
Thank you so much!
Signature: Marian Lyman Kirst

Unknown Blue Moth from Thailand

Unknown Blue Moth from Taiwan

Dear Marian,
This is sure a pretty little moth, but our initial attempts to identify it have turned up blank.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck.

Karl Provides an Identification:
Hi Daniel and Marian:
It looks very similar to the Forrester Moth or Leaf Skeletonizer Moth (Zygaenidae: Procridinae), Clelea sapphirina, from Vietnam posted by Tricia a few months back. It is probably C. formosana, which, as far as I can tell, is the only member of the genus in Taiwan (formerly known as Formosa). Here is a link to a photo of the same species also taken in Yamingshan National Park. Regards.  Karl

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: East Texas
April 5, 2013 10:07 pm
I found this bug by my front porch.. Not sure what it is
Signature: Thanks, Erika

Grapeleaf Skeletonizer

Grapeleaf Skeletonizer

Hi Erika,
This is actually a moth, even though it resembles a wasp.  It is a Grapeleaf Skeletonizer,
Harrisina americana, or a closely related species in the same genus.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on grape foliage, and can be pests; may also feed on Redbud, Virginia Creeper.
Adults take nectar.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth with irridescent turquoise markings
Location: Sapa, Vietnam
February 11, 2013 4:15 pm
Dear bugman,
We saw this pretty little moth sitting on a path in a park in Sapa, Vietnam, and are hoping that you can tell us what it is. We have spent many hours combing pages of photographs of fantastically coloured insects, but no luck so far
Signature: Tricia

Forrester Moth

Hi Tricia,
This is the type of identification that might take considerable research, and we are going to post it as unidentified at this time in a effort to respond to some other queries this morning.  Perhaps one of our readers will have time to scour the internet for an identification while we are off on what will most likely be a very long day at our place of gainful employment.

Karl provides an identification
Hi Daniel and Tricia:
It looks like a Burnet or Forester moth in the genus Clelea (Zygaenidae: Procridinae), probably C. sapphirina. I couldn’t find confirmation that it is native to Viet Nam but it ranges from India to Hong Kong, so it seems reasonable that its range would include Viet Nam. It could also be another of the several species in the genus but C. sapphirina appears to be a close match. Regards.  Karl

Thanks Karl,
BugGuide refers to the family Zygaenidae as the Leaf Skeletonizer Moths.

Thank you very much for responding, and it will be interesting to see if the post produces anything. I hadn’t realised quite how many wonderful and fantastic bugs there were out there till I started seriously trying to identify what we’d seen –  if I was a bit younger I might have been inspired to be an etymologist!
Thanks anyway,
Tricia

Hi again Tricia,
An etymologist is a person who studies word and their origins.  A person who studies insects is an entomologist.  We personally love the similarity in the pronunciation of these two fields and Daniel called the first chapter in his book, The Curious World of Bugs, “Entomology and Etymology:  What’s in a Name?”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination