Currently viewing the category: "Noctuoids"
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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.

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.

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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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Subject: Moth laying eggs
Location: Spring Hill, Florida
February 22, 2015 10:53 am
My friend sent me this interesting photo of a beautiful moth laying eggs on her car cover. I have tried Google and the only thing I can find close to it is the Leopard moth.. but I am confused because this moth has red.. and I can not find any moth that looks like this at all?
Signature: Tina

Eyed Tiger Moth laying Eggs

Eyed Tiger Moth laying Eggs

Dear Tina,
Your identification of a Giant Leopard Moth,
Hypercompe scribonia, is correct, and the species is also known as an Eyed Tiger Moth.  The reddish mark on the thorax is an area where the scales have worn away, revealing the exoskeleton.  Here is an image from BugGuide of an individual with a similar bare spot on the thorax.

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Subject: Moth from South Africa
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
February 18, 2015 12:45 pm
Hi there!
I hope you guys can help to identify this magnificent moth.
Spotted in a garden in Cape Town, South Africa in mid Feb.
Lots of granadilla and lavender plants around.
Never seen one even remotely similar – the photo is pretty good though, I hope we can identify it and find out more.
Please let me know what turns up!
Looking forward to your reply and thanks for the help!
Signature: Yours truly, NJV

Echo Owlet Moth

Echo Owlet Moth

Dear NJV,
Your lovely moth with its curled wings reminded us of an Australian Fruit Piercing Moth, so we searched the subfamily Catocalinae on iSpot and we quickly found the Echo Owlet Moth,
Achaea echo, a perfect match for your moth.  The species is also pictured on African Moths.

Thank you so much for the help, I really appreciate it!
Have a fantastic day,
Kind Regards
Norman Visser

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Subject: Is this a big old moth?
Location: Roatan Honduras
February 16, 2015 10:47 pm
I thought this was a bat but maybe ,,,, a very large moth? It flew around the bathroom like a bat and has a wingspan of at least six inches. This photo was taken in Roatan Honduras. Love to know!
Signature: Wondering in Roatan

Black Witch

Black Witch

Dear Wondering in Roatan,
We are speculating that you were a tourist in Honduras.  Though this head on view is not ideal for identification purposes, we are quite confident your image is that of a Black Witch,
Ascalapha odorata, a large moth that frequently enters homes in Latin America and is subject to numerous superstitions.  In Mexico the Black Witch is known as Mariposa de la Muerte.  You may read more about the Black Witch on the Texas Entomology website.

It did look like a witch moth ( what a great name!)  but we are very grateful to be able to check with the experts. Thank you so much for your help. We do have tons of fruit bat s out here too – it wasn’t very bat like but it certainly seemed like a huge moth! I like the superstition that if you find a moth in your house you will be coming into a lot of money!
We are property owners down here but don’t get here as much as we’d like.
Adrienne Larkin
La Diosa del sol

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Subject: Multicolored one!!!
Location: Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.
February 4, 2015 12:22 pm
I am hoping you can help me identify this bug, I believe it is kind of a moth but I am not totally positive. I found it last Sunday in a protected forest area nearby. I was walking in a trail in the middle of the woods when the little multicolored body got my attention and pictured it.
Keep up the good work with your great site.
Signature: Magno

Tiger Moth

Princely Tiger Moth

Dear Magno,
This is a magnificently colored Tiger Moth in the subfamily Arctiinae.  We believe we have identified it as a Princely Tiger Moth,
Chrysocale principalis, thanks to images on Texas Entomology, including a mounted specimen from Jalisco.  FlickR has an image of a mating pair of Princely Tiger Moths and Naturalista has a nice image as well.  

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination