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

Subject: Moth
Location: San Fernando, CA
August 22, 2014 5:31 pm
Friend found this in his home in San Fernando, CA. It’s huge
Signature: J Lytle

Black Witch

Black Witch

Dear J Lytle,
This impressive moth is a Black Witch, and they are found in the American neotropics.  They are a common species in Mexico and each year at the end of summer, individuals fly north, some reaching as far north as Alaska.  Though they are unable to naturalize in the northern climes, larvae have been found in Southern California, though most sightings in the continental US are of migrants.  This individual is a male Black Witch.

Thanks so much for the information. I have a copy of Hogue’s Insects of the LA Basin, and the Black Witch photo didn’t look like this, but all your sources do!
Best,
Jeanie Lytle

The illustration in Hogue is a female Black Witch.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: confused
Location: New york
August 18, 2014 5:13 am
I found caught and let go of this bug im trying to know if its a moth or butterfly we live in newyork in a basic apartment and it never wanted to leave i kept it in a cup then i let it go out the window and IT KEPT COMING BACK!!!!!
Signature: Harley Quinn

Underwing Moth

Underwing Moth

Dear Harley,
This gorgeous moth is an Underwing Moth in the genus
Catocala, but we are uncertain of the species.  This is a large genus, and according to bugGuide:  “Lafontaine & Schmidt (2010) listed 101 species of the genus Catocala in America north of Mexico. Powell & Opler (2009) reported 110 species in all of North America.”  The common name Underwing is derived from the contrasting and often brightly colored underwings that are generally hidden when the moth is resting.  They flash when the moth is in flight, causing a predator to search for a colorful prey, but while the moth is resting camouflaged on a tree trunk, it eludes its hunter and avoids getting eaten.  You didn’t indicate if this sighting was during the day or at night.  Underwings are often attracted to lights at night.

Underwing Moth

Underwing Moth

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Butterfly, Moth or Something Else?
Location: Iron Station, NC
August 8, 2014 5:26 pm
My husband photographed this pretty creature late afternoon August 8th on our concrete sidewalk. Can you please tell us what this is?
Signature: Ridgerunner

Clymene Moth

Clymene Moth

Hi Ridgerunner,
This pretty Tiger Moth is commonly called a Clymene Moth
When it reveals its lovely orange underwings, the religious illusion many folks see in the wings is no longer apparent.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth
Location: Santa Rosa, New Mexico, USA
July 31, 2014 9:22 pm
Hello. I was wondering just what sort of moth this is. It’s very unusual for the usual kinds of moths we get here and i thought it was really interesting, and strong when I went to pry it off the table! But it’s safely sitting on the porch out of the rain now. Please get back to me.
Signature: Jared Serrano

Clio Tiger Moth

Clio Tiger Moth

Hi Jared,
After a bit of searching, we were able to identify this as a Clio Tiger Moth,
Ectypia clio, thanks to images posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on milkweed (Asclepias, Asclepiadaceae) and dogbane (Apocynum, Apocynaceae). Behr reported them on spreading dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium).”  We recall a recent posting with unknown caterpillars that resembled Tiger Moth Caterpillars feeding on milkweed, and now we are going to try to locate the posting to see if the caterpillars resemble the caterpillars of the Clio Tiger Moth posted to BugGuide

Clio Tiger Moth

Clio Tiger Moth

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Alypia Forester Moth
Location: western Montana
July 28, 2014 2:04 pm
Can anyone ID this Alypia? I’ve gone through 4 different species, but the pattern of white patches does not match well to any of them. This photo was taken on July 28th, 2014 in western Montana. It was nectaring on Brassica weed flowers in open coniferous forest at approximately 3,400′.
Signature: Jeremy Roberts

Police Car Moth

Police Car Moth

Hi Jeremy,
While your moth bears a superficial resemblance to the Forester Moths in the genus
Alypia, the reason you had so much difficulty with a species identification is that your moth is in a different family.  This is a Police Car Moth, Gnophaela vermiculata,  According to BugGuide, the range is “southern British Columbia south to Oregon, northeastern Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and northern New Mexico” and it is found in “Typically foothills, mountain ranges, mid-elevations.”  As there are other similar looking members of the genus, we cannot say with 100% certainty that this is not a close relative of the Police Car Moth.

Thank you!  Indeed, I feel into a trap of my own making.  Police Car Moth it is.  And just in time for National Moth Week!
Thanks again for throwing down a rope.  I’m excited to plant some host plants in the yard now.
Cheers,
-Jeremy

You are most welcome Jeremy.  WTB? has co-sponsored a National Moth Week event with the MWHA in our local Elyria Canyon Park in 2012 and 2013, but that is not the ideal time for moth viewing in Southern California, so we are going rogue this year and having a local event when moths are more plentiful.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Some kind of moth
Location: Vermont
July 25, 2014 2:00 pm
Isn’t this unique?
Signature: MG

Clymene Moth

Clymene Moth

Dear MG,
More than one reader has commented that the pattern on the wings of the Clymene Moth,
Haploa clymene, resembles religious symbolism, more specifically a cross.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination