Currently viewing the category: "Noctuoids"
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Subject: ID of Butterfly
Location: Southwest Virginia near New River
April 11, 2015 8:21 pm
This little butterfly landed near me on the trail along New River in Southwest Virginia. I haven’t been able to ID it, though I have searched online. Please help!
Signature: Carolyn

Grapevine Epimenis

Grapevine Epimenis

Dear Carolyn,
The reason you are having a difficult time with this identification is that this is a diurnal Owlet Moth, the Grapevine Epimenis,
Psychomorpha epimenis.

No wonder!  Thank you so much!  It’s such a pretty little moth–new to me!  You guys are great!!!

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Subject: Moth
Location: Bakersfield, Ca.
April 8, 2015 11:41 am
Hi, I live in Bakersfield, California. The Verbena is crazy this year (April 2015) and this moth along with a tons of Painted Lady Butterflies are having a ball. I had no idea how many species of moths there are so I am lost trying to ID this one. Can you????
Signature: Thanks, Mary Rosica.

Possibly Owlet Moth

Alfalfa Looper

Dear Mary,
We believe this is a Noctuoid Moth, probably an Owlet Moth in the family Noctuidae, but we haven’t a clue as to anything more specific.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide further information.  We are curious if this moth is strictly diurnal.  See BugGuide if you want to browse through images of Owlet Moths.

Daniel, thanks for a direction to go! I will look for sure. They are very active and almost never stop beating their wings. Was hard to get a still shot with the wings open. Never seen so many and during the day as well. Obviously, my cat Ebby finds all the activity very fascinating.
Again, thank you!
Mary

Update:  April 10, 2015
We just approved a comment from Ben indicating that this looks like an Alfalfa Looper, Autographa californica, and according to BugGuide:  “adults are active day and night, and are attracted to light.”

Yes!!!! That’s it. Also looked for other pictures on the net under images and found him big as day. You folks are great!! Thank you so much.
Mary

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Subject: black moth with orange and white markings
Location: Missouri, United States
April 4, 2015 3:59 pm
while moving tent caterpillars off of our plum tree, this little pollinator stopped by! I’m glad I got some good pictures. I’m about 85% sure this is a moth but I’d just like to hear your opinion as well and if you can give me the species that’d be much appreciated!
it had fuzzy legs and body, like a moth. with a proboscis like abutterfly.
Signature: Stolz

Grapevine Epimenis

Grapevine Epimenis

Dear Stolz,
We quickly identified your moth on BugGuide as a Grapevine Epimenis,
Psychomorpha epimenis, and according to BugGuide:  “Adult records are mostly from February to July.  Food Larvae feed on the leaves of grape, Vitis (Vitaceae) Common nectar genera: Forestiera, Prunus, Crataegus, Cercis spp.”  Since Plum is in the genus Prunus and it is April, this sighting is very typical.

Grapevine Epimenis

Grapevine Epimenis

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Subject: Flightless moth?
Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia
April 1, 2015 9:49 pm
We found this gorgeous furry moth outside in garden today. It appeared to have deformed wings, but after abit of googling, I wonder, could it be a flightless moth? It seems to have a smooth hard pink sort of plate on the top of it’s head. I’d be interested to know what moth it is, and what kind of caterpillar it is, too, as a couple of months ago my young son picked up “something” which filled his fore finger and thumb with about 100 fine spines. We never found what it was, but suspected a caterpillar. He found it in the same spot we found this moth today! Thanks for your help!
Signature: Furry moth lover

Further information re this moth, the season here is now autumn.
Thank you!!

Boisduval's Autumn Moth

Boisduval’s Autumn Moth

Hello again! I just came outside to see if the moth was still where we left it, and to my surprise, it had set of full length wings! So, it must have only just emerged from its cocoon. I’ve attached a couple of more pictures. A very stylish set of wings, I think! Thanks, Astrid

Boisduval's Autumn Moth

Boisduval’s Autumn Moth

Dear Astrid,
Thanks for the additional images.  They were very helpful.  At first we thought this might be a Tiger Moth in the subfamily Arctiinae, but that was not the case.  We eventually identified it on Butterfly House as Boisduval’s Autumn Moth,
Oenosandra boisduvalii, a member of the related Snub Moth family Oenosandridae.  Your individual is a female, and this is a highly sexually dimorphic species where the sexes actually look like totally different species.  There is no mention of the caterpillars having utricating spines.  The Atlas of Living Australia indicates that this is a southern species.

Boisduval's Autumn Moth

Boisduval’s Autumn Moth

Thank you for your fast response. I have never noticed this particular moth before, but I will keep an eye out in future. By it’s name, it seems that this is just the right time of year to see them. The info on it says the larvae feed on eucalyptus leaves, so, I assume it’s a native, too, and not an introduced species. We certainly have plenty if eucalyptus trees and leaves everywhere. Thanks again!

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Subject: which owlet moth species pollinate witch hazel?
March 18, 2015 8:30 am
Hello WTB
In doing some research on witch hazel,  I found that the pollinators are  specie(s) of owlet moths. Dr Bernd Heinrich found that these moths were the pollinators and had the ability  to thermo-regulate by shivering, enabling them to be active during the cold season when our native witch hazels bloom. I also read that these moths have a dense body pile, which insulates them. What a great story this is! I wanted to include a picture of one of these moths in my article about witch hazel. Could you tell me which specie(s) of moth these might be? I am assuming Dr Heinrich did the research in Maine or somewhere in New England where he is based. Also, would someone be willing to let me publish a/their picture of the moth in question for my article? (I would of course attribute the photographer and use a copyright symbol with it.) I write a monthly column on native plants for wildlife for my birding club, The Capital Area Audubon Society in Lansing, MI.
Thanks for any help, and for considering my photo request.
Ann Hancock
Co Editor, The Call Note
Lansing, Michigan
Signature: Ann Hancock

Dear Ann,
We are not certain which species of Owlet Moth pollinates Witch Hazel, but we will post your request and try to do some research.  We have found a reference to Winter Moth on the Venerable Trees site.

Daniel
Thank you so much. The whole Owlet Moth, and flying in the cold season is a gee-whiz story to me.
I appreciate your help and hope that someone will know the answer.
If we get a reply and/or a picture I will post an update in next month’s column.
AMH

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Subject: bug in Key Largo
Location: Key Largo, Fl. 33037
March 11, 2015 2:18 pm
Dear Mr. Bugman,
I found this bug in my chicken house. Could you please give an ID?
Signature: treelady6

Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth

Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth

Dear treelady6,
This Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth,
Empyreuma pugione, is a very effective wasp mimic.  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.”

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