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

Subject: Red Beetle with Black Spots
Location: Johnson County Kansas
July 9, 2012 7:57 pm
I found the attached in Johnson County Kansas. The beetle was sitting on milkweed and although there was evidence of damage adjacent to the beetle I did not observe it feeding. The brown caterpillar in the attached photo was one of several that were indeed feeding on Milkweeds in my pasture.
Signature: Mike

Milkweed Longhorn Beetle

Hi Mike,
Normally we like to confine the number of insects in a single posting to one unless they are the same family, but we are making an exception in your case because we have a Milkweed Meadow tag because so many different insects comprise the intricate ecosystem that depends upon milkweed.  Your beetle is a Milkweed Longhorn in the genus
Tetraopes.  If they are disturbed, they create a squeaking sound by Stridulation.  The sound is produced by rubbing body parts together.  The caterpillar was a bit more of a challenge.  We quickly located this Gaia Garden:  The Milkweed Insect Tribe webpage with a photograph identified as the orange-margined dogbane moth, Cycnia tenera.  We always double check identifications if possible, and that name on BugGuide was a different insect.  As luck would have it, additional searching led us to another member of the same genus, Cycnia inopinatus, the Unexpected Cycnia Caterpillar, also on BugGuide.  Many insects that feed on milkweed sport orange or red and black coloration to warn predators that the insects are either poisonous or distasteful due to the toxins in the milkweed.

Unexpected Cycnia Caterpillar

Daniel, thank you very much for the information. FYI I have about 2 acres of Milkweed (many varieties)  in my pasture that is home to a wide variety of insects. This year for the first time I have yet to find any Monarch Butterfly caterpillars in them. Again, thanks for helping out a true neophyte with some good information. _Mike Lewis_

We are very disturbed to learn that two acres of milkweed did not produce any Monarch Caterpillars despite having been a habitat for them in the past.  We wonder if this is a local drop in population or if this is more global.  That is sad news. Perhaps if you happen to see any in the future, you can take some photos and send them to us with the subject line Monarch Caterpillars.

I will be happy to sned you any new photos I get of Monarch Caterpillars. I am not an entomologist nor a botanist but from my layman’s perspective it is most likely a combination of factors that has reduced the population of large Butterflies on my small farm.
A severe drought has increased the local farmers desire to produce additional forage for their livestock. Fields and field edges that used to produce large amounts of nectar producing plants like Ironweed and Red Clover have been treated with herbicide to make way for livestock friendly plants like orchard grass.
The flowering trees in my yard like apple and dogwood produced almost zero flowers this year. I typically plant a patch of approximately 200 square feet of Dill for the Black Swallowtails. I got almost no germination of my dill seeds this year. Even the bee hives I keep on my place have reduced their honey production this year by at least 40% over past years.
Hopefully this is not a complete catastrophe and in time some of my gossamer winged friends will return.

Thank you for that very thorough analysis Mike.


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Huge bug on tomato plant
Location: Minnesota
July 9, 2012 10:54 am
I have no idea what this is. It looks like an enormous moth. I saw it this morning on my tomato plant. It didn’t fly away when I got close to it. It just clung to the leaf and was perfectly still.
My images aren’t real good because I took with my tablet.
Signature: Tara

Sphinx Moth: Carolina Sphinx or Five Spotted Hawkmoth???

Hi Tara,
This is one of two species of Sphinx Moth or Hawkmoth in the genus
Manduca.  It is either the Carolina Sphinx or the Five Spotted Hawkmoth.  Both are found in Minnesota and both have large caterpillars known as Hornworms that feed on the leaves of tomato and related plants.

Hi Dan
Thank you for your quick response.  I kind of thought that is what it might be after looking at some images and information on the web.  Does the adult do any damage?
The odd this is that when I got home, it was still on the plant.  All the articles I read said that these guys aren’t often seen because they come out at dusk.  It was very bright and sunny in this location.  I thought it might be dead and even pushed the planted around a bit to see if it would move.  It didn’t move an inch, but it finally left after I moved away.  Also, I took some better pics.
Here is the link
I have another one that I was hoping you could help with.

Hi Tara,
The other critter is a Grapevine Beetle.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: moth, buterfly or other
Location: New York
July 8, 2012 7:30 pm
What kind of bug is this. It visited our butterfly bush this evening. It hovers like a hummingbird to feed. It is quick, wings translucent, Not afraid and stuck around for a while visiting different flowers on the bush. We live in New York on the Southern edge of the Catskill Mountains. Wings were clear but did have some red detailing in them.
Signature: bugman

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth

Hi bugman,
Your first guess is correct.  This is a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth,
Hemaris thysbe, and you may verify that on Sphingidae of the Americas, the website devoted to new world species from your moth’s family.  As moths go, Hummingbird Clearwings are very atypical.  They are diurnal rather than flying at night.  The are frequently mistaken for hummingbirds as they hover before flowers drinking nectar.  Thanks for sending your wonderful photo. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Never mind. I think I found it…
Location: Tansen, Palpa District, Nepal
June 28, 2012 7:45 pm
Just wrote you a query, but by searching more diligently, I found the Baorisa hieroglyphica. That looks like it!
Thank you.
Signature: lkw

Baorisa Moth

Dear lkw,
This particular email arrived while we were out of the office and we are going through old submissions in an effort to respond to some past requests.  We were unable to locate your original email, and we suspect you did not sign the two forms in the same manner.  This is a beautiful Baorisa and we thank you for saving us the effort of doing the research.  We know how time consuming it can be to identify species from many parts of the world.  We confirmed the identification on

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Red-headed tiger moth (?)
Location: Tsuchiura City, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan (about 60 km northwest of Tokyo)
July 6, 2012 4:17 am
Hello Bugman!
This moth came up to say good morning the other day. He landed on me as bold as can be and then flew off. He did stay put long enough for me to get a picture, though.
I always try to find a bug before I post to you, and usually I’m not successful. But this time I think I’ve got it! I guess this beautiful moth is some kind of tiger moth. From his wing shape and red head, I think he must be a ctenucha moth or a clymene moth. I think the ctenucha is most likely, but I couldn’t find any pictures on-line with the same markings as this one has. Can you confirm?
Thank you so much!
Signature: Melissa in Japan

Subject: red-headed moth submission classification
July 6, 2012 5:37 am
Hi Bugman!
I just uploaded a picture of a black-winged moth with a white stripe on its wings and a red head for an identification. A Facebook friend just identified it as ”zygaenidae chalcosiinae pidorus glaucopis‘.
Don’t know the common name, though.
Melissa in Japan
Signature: Melissa Noguchi

Subject: red-headed moth (last one I promise!)
July 6, 2012 6:11 am
Hi again,
We can’t find the common name in English for the moth I submitted, but apparently it’s called a ホタルが (hotaru-ga) in Japanese. A direct translation of the name would be the Firefly Moth.
Melissa (still in Japan)
Signature: Melissa Noguchi

Leaf Skeletonizer Moth: Hotaruga

Hi Melissa,
Thanks for all your emails regarding this lovely moth.  We learned on BugGuide that the family Zygaenidae is commonly called the Leaf Skeletonizer Moths.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Drasteria moth?
Location: Solano County, CA
July 7, 2012 7:07 pm
flew into my living room. Drasteria seemed the closest, but I couldn’t find any with that bright orange color.
Signature: me

Underwing Moth

This beautiful moth is one of the Underwing Moths in the genus Catocala, and according to the map on Bill Oehlke’s website, at least 7 different species have been documented from Solano County.  We do not have the necessary skills to take this identification to the species level.  Underwing Moths get their name from the brightly colored underwings that are only revealed when the moth is in flight.  When the moth is resting, it is easily camouflaged against bark or other surfaces which allows it to escape predation because the hunter is expecting to find something with brighter coloration after pursuing the flying moth.  If you are interested in learning more about local moths, you might want to see if there is a National Moth Week event near you.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination