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

Subject: Moth
Location: Le Chautay, France
April 18, 2014 4:42 am
Dear Bugman, I was wondering if you could help me identify this beautiful moth i found in France.
Signature: Cassia

Garden Tiger Moth

Garden Tiger Moth

Hi Cassia,
We were excited to get your photo, but upon using our typical naming convention, we were startled to find another example of a Garden Tiger Moth from France submitted by Cassia, so we added the number 2 to the name, and again, it came up as already in use, so we eventually settled on the Y2K compliant date of 20140418.  Upon researching the previously submitted images, we realized you had already submitted this image in September 2013, and we provided a lengthy response.  For some reason, you did not receive our response, so we present you new request as Garden Tiger Moth from France REDUX.

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: spotted moth in garden
Location: Baltimore, MD
March 13, 2014 1:13 pm
after planting a garden in Baltimore Maryland (downtown!) We started getting a bunch of strange bugs – is this just a standard moth, or something special? Late summer months. Thanks!
Signature: Jet Setter

Agreeable Tiger Moth

Agreeable Tiger Moth

Hi Jet Setter,
This Tiger Moth is in the genus
Spilosoma, and based on the number of black spots and the location of the sighting, we believe the best match is the Agreeable Tiger Moth, Spilosoma congrua, that we found pictured on BugGuide.  Picturing the abdomen would be helpful in the identification, because BugGuide notes:  “Adult: S. virginica has yellow markings on the abdomen, while S. congrua‘s abdomen is pure white.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Tarantula wasp in Miami?
Location: Miami Beach FL
March 13, 2014 11:55 am
Hey Bugman! I snapped this while walking down the street in South Beach (Miami, FL) this past January. It seems to match descriptions of tarantula wasps… although it just seems odd to me. Hope you can shed some light! Sorry about the poor res…
Signature: Jet Setter

Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth

Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth

Dear Jet Setter,
Like the Blue-Green Wasp Mimic you submitted, this Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth,
Empyreuma pugione, is a wasp mimic in the Tiger Moth tribe Arctiini.  Tarantula Hawks often have black bodies with orange wings, and the aposematic or warning coloration alerts predators to the threat of bothering them, because the sting of a Tarantula Hawk is reported to be quite painful.  The docile and harmless moth benefits from the mimicry.  According to BugGuide:  “The spotted oleander caterpillar is a recent immigrant to the US from the Caribbean, first recorded in Florida in Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, in February 1978.”  Since the Spotted Oleander Caterpillars feed on toxic oleander, the aposematic coloration might also be a warning not to eat this species as the toxins may be retained in the bodies of the moths.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: blue wasp / mimic in Peru
Location: Aguas Calientes, Peru
March 13, 2014 2:44 pm
Hey Bugman! I found this guy in Aguas Calientes, Peru (outside Machu Picchu) in late November the day after an incredible downpour. His / her gorgeous aquamarine wings (opaque) caught my eye – and I’m trying to decide if it was a spider wasp or a wasp mimic <http://www.learnaboutbutterflies.com/Amazon%20-%20Antichloris%20eriphia.htm>
I’m nearly certain based on how fuzzy he appears that it’s a mimic – but that could of course be due to my poor camera res…
Thanks!
Signature: Jet Setter

Blue-Green Wasp Mimic

Blue-Green Wasp Mimic

Dear Jet Setter,
The insect in your photo is definitely a moth that mimics wasps, and the link to the Blue-Green Wasp Mimic you provided appears to us to be the correct genus.  The Learn About Butterflies site indicates:  “The genus
Antichloris contains about 30 species characterised by having black wings and bodies that reflect a bluish or greenish sheen. Identification can be difficult because there are many very similar species in other genera including Timalus, Phaeosphecia, Poliopastea, Psoloptera and Macrocneme. It is possible to narrow down the search by paying close attention to the wing shape and venation, and to the markings on the head, thorax and abdomen. In Antichloris eriphia the thoracic markings are very distinctive, and there are 2 red spots behind the head – although these can only be seen when the moth extends its head forward when feeding.”  Exact species identification is most likely only possible if an expert (and that would NOT be us) inspects the actual specimen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown bug
Location: Richards Bay KZN SA
February 27, 2014 6:50 am
HI
I took this image or a few from my garden in Richards Bay, KZN, SA. It was sucking nectar on a bush known to draw butterflies. Could you possibly identify it?
Signature: Pauline Hibbert

Splendrous Hornet Moth

Splendrous Hornet Moth

Dear Pauline,
This is either a Splendrous Hornet Moth,
Euchromia formosa, or a closely related species in the same genus.  You can compare your excellent image to the one on Encyclopaedia Britannica or the ones on ISpot.

Splendrous Hornet Moth

Splendrous Hornet Moth

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination