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

Very red wasp
Location: SW Florida
March 29, 2011 9:40 pm
I found this lovely looking wasp buzzing around my room.
I live in SW Florida, he was spotted as I ducked. Discovered March 27, 2011.
Thank you, very much, bug man. I did help him to escape without harm. Hopefully he is a bug that devours garden eating buggies.
Signature: Kate

Scarlet Bodied Wasp Moth

Hi Katy,
This is not a wasp, but rather a moth that mimics a wasp.  It is a Scarlet Bodied Wasp Moth,
Cosmosoma myrodora, and it is found if Florida primarily, but also west to Texas and north to North Carolina according to BugGuideBugGuide also notes this interesting information:  “These moths display warning coloration, yet the caterpillars host on non-toxic Climbing Hempweed, Mikania scandens, (family Asteraceae), a weedy vine at field margins and roadsides that can completely obscure bushes and small trees. The adult male moth extracts toxins known as ‘pyrrolizidine alkaloids’ from Dogfennel Eupatorium (Eupatorium capillifolium) and showers these toxins over the female prior to mating. This is the only insect known to transfer a chemical defense in this way.”

Thank you, bug man.  How interesting.  I would never have thought that was a moth.  He was beautiful, glad I got his picture.  Thank you for your research.
Katy

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

tiger moth ?
Location: Los Angeles, CA
March 25, 2011 1:11 pm
This moth was hugging a clump of dwarf umbrella plant, probably waiting for the sun to come out after the overnight rain.
Looking at the pictures afterwards I noticed it was hanging from its front legs with the other legs stretched.
I think it’s a tiger moth. I do remember finding a fairly large reddish-brown chrysalis a month ago but didn’t think to take a photo. I wonder if it overwintered in that.
Signature: Laurentiu

Striped Morning Sphinx

Dear Laurentiu,
What a beautiful Striped Morning Sphinx or White Lined Sphinx.  We see several each year in Mt Washington, but our north facing garden is still too cold to expect them to be flying.  We expect to begin to see Striped Morning Sphinxes at the porch light and resting on the screen door on the first warm and sunny days after the rain ends.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is this?
March 25, 2011
Dear Bugman !
I found this interesting moth last night..
Its colours are quite attractive and rare… thought this might be a good addition to wtb
Thanks and regards….
Ibrahim TMC
India

What's That Moth??? Blue Tiger

Hi Ibrahim,
We don’t know what it is, but we expect that Karl will soon be writing in with an identification.  Was it diurnal or nocturnal?

Update: Identified as Blue Tiger in a comment
The Blue Tiger,
Dysphania percota, is one of the Geometrid Moths and not a true Tiger Moth.  When lttlechkn provided us with a comment and identification link, we found additional verification on the Forestry Images website.  There is also a photo of a mounted specimen on AZs Lepidoptera page.


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Luna moth in Florida
Location: Gainesville, FL
March 23, 2011 3:32 pm
This morning before work, I noticed a luna moth on my neighbor’s window. I was in a rush, so I wasn’t able to go get a camera.
I was pleased to find that it was still there when I got home! I’m pretty sure this area is within their natural range (Gainesville, FL) but I don’t remember ever seeing one around here before.
Since I’m almost certain this is a luna moth, there’s no need to identify it, but hopefully the pictures are nice enough to keep!
Signature: L. Z.

Luna Moth

Dear L.Z.,
The Luna Moth most certainly ranges in Florida, though this is the first Floridian example we have received this year.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Big Brown Moth
Location: Houston, Texas
March 21, 2011 9:41 pm
I found this very large moth on the outside of the house in the afternoon, September 11 2009. I thought it was a weirdly stuck leaf but, on closer inspection, it turned out to be a cool moth. It seemed really docile and allowed me to pick it up and mess with it without reacting very much. I brought it inside with me and set it on a plant inside. It started acting up right then, sprayed a white fluid out of it’s rear end and started flying around. I had gotten some of the white fluid on me so it washed it off while the giant insect tried to escape. I eventually got it out of the house but not after chasing it all over and losing track of it a few times.
I found this website recently and I wondered if you could tell me what sort of moth it was and what it sprayed at me.
Signature: Thanks, Kelly Bufkin

Walnut Sphinx

Hi Kelly,
Your moth is a Walnut Sphinx,
Amorpha juglandis, and you can verify that by looking at the images on the Sphingidae of the Americas website.  Bill Oehlke writes:  “The adults are also highly variable; sometimes wings of an individual may be all one color or may have several colors, ranging from pale to dark brown, and may have a white or pink tinge. Patterns range from faint to pronounced.”  We have never heard of a Sphinx Moth spraying, and we suspect the fluid it exuded may have been a residual product of metamorphosis.

Walnut Sphinx

I looked through the moths people had sent in before and I saw a lot of other kinds of sphinxes.  They did look like my moth but not quite, haha.  For it to spray at me I must have scared it or something.  Thank you for identifying it!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Luna Moth in SC
Location: Lexington, SC
March 20, 2011 9:51 am
I saw this beautiful moth on a sidewalk while shopping on March 19. I took a photo and identified it on the Internet the next day. Imagine my surprise! It appears to be a male Luna Moth, seen here on a sidewalk in Lexington, SC (central SC, near the capital of Columbia). I wish I had ”rescued” it, although I don’t know what I would have done, except perhaps bring it to the woods right behind my house. I’m horrified to know that I left it there to probably be trampled.
Signature: Sad in SC

Luna Moth

Hi Sad in SC,
If it is any consolation, Luna Moths only live a few days as adults and they do not feed.  Adults mate, the female lays eggs, and both quickly die.  Luna Moths have many predators, and part of their function in the intricate and confusing web of life is to provide food to other creatures.  We would like to think that this beauty lived to mate since he is such a handsome specimen.  Your letter represents the first report we have received this year of a Luna Moth other than from Texas.  As spring nears, sightings will move north, and by May we should be hearing from readers in Maine and Canada.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination