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

Subject: Black Flying Insect
Location: West Texas, Lubbock County
July 28, 2014 9:16 am
Hello,
We have seen these very pretty black insects just this summer in our yard and have tried to use on-line searches to identify them, but to no avail. I would like to know whether or not they are harmless, as I have had one land on me several times. They seem to flutter around and also do not seem to be very stable in the wind. Thank you for your help!
Signature: A. Melugin

Grapeleaf Skeletonizer

Grapeleaf Skeletonizer

Dear A. Melugin,
We suspect you may have grapes growing nearby.  This is one of the Grapeleaf Skeletonizers, a moth in the genus
Harrisina.  According to bugGuide, there are three species in Texas, and we can eliminate the Eastern Grapeleaf Skeletonizer as it has an orange collar behind the head.  The other two species, Harrisina coracina and Harrisina metallica which is commonly called the Western Grapeleaf Skeletonizer, look quite similar.  Caterpillars feed on the leaves of grapes, and according to BugGuide:  “Larvae are a major defoliating pest of grapes – Vitis spp., and also feed on creeper – Parthenocissus spp. (Vitaceae).”

Thank you so much!  We do not have grape vines, butI looked it up, and found they also feast on Virginia Creeper, which you mentioned and we have.  When I went to inspect the plant, sure enough they have been eating the leaves! I really appreciate your help.  Thanks again!
April

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