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

Red butt bug….
Location: Mount Dora, Florida
August 30, 2011 7:10 am
Hey Bugman-Please solve this mystery for us. We finally captured this guy and got photos this weekend. We have several insect books for Florida, but have been unable to identify this gorgeous critter. He hangs out in my butterfly garden and seems to like the same plants as the butterflies do. He is not aggressive. We have been going crazy the past seven years trying to identify this insect. Please help…thanks.
Signature: Monique & Chuck

Polka-Dot Wasp Moth

Dear Monique & Chuck,
What took you so long to write to us?  We have been available on the internet at a different location since late 1998 and  at our current URL since 2002.  This is a Polka-Dot Wasp Moth,
Syntomeida epilais, a species that is a very effective harmless mimic of a stinging insect.

Dear Daniel-
THANK YOU so much for your response and solving this mystery for us…and to think I don’t have oleanders in my garden because of my past experience with those “awful” defoliating caterpillars…they turn into this beautiful insect!! I have plenty of other plants to accomodate various species of butterfly larva and don’t seem to mind that they are summarily defoliated…I think it’s time for an oleander in my garden. I want more of these ‘artistically painted’ insects. You have made our day. We are so glad to have discovered your website and didn’t write earlier because we were unable to actually capture one of these…as we were afraid they were a stinging insect and I am highly allergic to stings of all kinds….and, yes, his “very effective mimic of a stinging insect” worked on us. (We did release him when his photo session was over.)
Thanks again…we will be making a donation to your site for you to be able to continue to do your work. Monique & Chuck

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Snowball Viburnum Denizens
Location: Trumbull, CT
August 29, 2011 6:58 pm
I tried to look up both of these insects, but I only found one. The first is an ailanthus webworm moth, but I don’t know what the second one is. I occasionally find interesting insects on the snowball viburnum bush in my front yard.
Signature: Chuck

Ailanthus Webworm Moth

Dear Chuck,
Congratulations on having successfully identified your Ailanthus Webworm Moth.  Folks of a certain age and those who think flower power was the apex of 20th Century style will likely respond to the repetitious patterns and play on scale evident in this lush photograph.  Your other insect is a Feather Legged Fly,
Trichopoda pennipes, a member of the Tachinid Fly family Tachinidae.  Tachinid Flies have larvae that are internal parasites of other insects, arachnids and certain members of other arthropod orders.  In the case of the Feather Legged Fly, the host insect is a Stink Bug.  Here is the BugGuide page on this species.

Flower Fly on Snowball Viburnum

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Look what flew into our kitchen this evening…
Location: Louisville, CO
August 26, 2011 11:32 pm
Hi, Daniel.
We had a visitor this evening. The wing span was about 5”. It settled down long enough for me to take a picture with my camera phone, and then Lisa put it back outside safely.
Our next door neighbor has been gifting us with their overflowing bounty of incredibly delicious tomatoes. Lisa suspects that the caterpillar it came from was one that feeds on tomatoes and that it is a hawk moth of some sort.
Signature: Daniel

Carolina Sphinx

Good Morning Daniel,
Lisa is correct.  This is
Manduca sexta, and its common name, Carolina Sphinx, is deceptive because it ranges well beyond the Carolinas.  To further add to the confusion, the larva of the Carolina Sphinx is commonly called the Tobacco Hornworm, though it is found on tomato plants and other native solanaceous plants like Jimsonweed and Nightshade outside of tobacco country.  You can read more about the Carolina Sphinx on the Sphingidae of the Americas website.  Another similar looking member of the genus is Manduca quinquemaculata, and its caterpillar is known as the Tomato Hornworm.  They are so similar in both appearance and habits to the Tobacco Hornworm that many home gardeners do not distinguish between the two species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

That scared life of me!
Location: Sliema, Malta
August 21, 2011 4:23 pm
Could you please let me know what creature it is on the attached photo?
Since the photo has limited capabilities let me give you few more details.
It entered our apartment at night time (no lights, just an open window)
It had a wings span of approximately 15-20cm, length: 7-8cm, and when flying it was very fast and moving in a very chaotic motion.
Your help would be very much appreciated :)
Thank you in advance, John
Signature: John

Unknown Hawkmoth Carnage

Dear Staff,
Please help me with identifying the bug I sent you. I have tried to do my reaserch in the Internet but without success.
My wife wants to sleep with closed windows in this 32°C heat here in Malta, because she is scared that this creature will come again. So I need to figure this bug out soon.
I appreciate your time. THANK YOU!!!
Best regards,

Hi John,
This harmless Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae looks perfectly dead, and your wife need not fear its resurrection.  In our opinion, this death was preventable, and we are tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Winged bug in South Florida
Location: South Florida
August 24, 2011 2:46 pm
What the heck is it?
Signature: Bugcurious in bipedaland

Unidentified Moth

Dear Bugcurious,
We believe this is a Moth, but we don’t recognize it and we are not going to try to research it now because we are tired and ready for bed, and tomorrow is a very difficult day.  Perhaps our readership will be able to provide an identity before we can.

I had a biologist friend looking into it for me too. He may have nailed it down. Here’s his best guess: (Spragueia leo moth). If your someone in your community comes with other ideas I’d love to know.

Thanks for saving us a bit of time this morning by providing us with an identification.  BugGuide has numerous photos of this pretty little Owlet Moth.


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Moth that looks like a leaf?
Location: Oklahoma City
August 23, 2011 8:32 am
This moth is on my house, right outside the front door. It’s very cool, looks like oak leaves! :) What is it called?
Signature: Elizabeth

Walnut Sphinx

Hi Elizabeth,
This interesting moth is a Walnut Sphinx,
Amorpha juglandis.  You can verify our identification on the Sphingidae of the Americas website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination