Currently viewing the category: "Moths"
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Any idea what this is
Location: Florida
February 27, 2011 7:22 pm
Hi there, any chance you might know what this is? It was found in a garage in Florida 2 days ago.
Signature: letter?

Scarlet Bodied Wasp Moth

You found a Scarlet Bodied Wasp Moth which avoids predation by mimicking a stinging insect.

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Luna Moth – Huffman, TX

Luna Moth

Luna Moth – Huffman, TX
Location: Huffman, TX
February 28, 2011 9:49 am
Good morning! When I arrived at our warehouse this morning, there were a few dozen of these moths on the north exterior wall. Our warehouse is located in Huffman, TX, which is on the Northeast side of the greater Houston metro area. After searching, they appear to be Luna Moths, but I have never seen them before. We have had relatively dry weather as of late, and these pictures were taken around 8:00 a.m. on Monday, February 28th. They also appear to be quite lethargic. Are they spawning now?
Signature: Thad Fehlis

Luna Moth

Dear Thad,
We are very excited about your email for several different reasons.  First, we want to congratulate you on what must be a spectacular sight.  We imagine much of our readership as well as our editorial staff are quite envious that you witnessed dozens of Luna Moths at one time.   Since it is time for us to select a Bug of the Month for March, we cannot think of a more fitting candidate than the Luna Moth, even though it has received the honor of being Bug of the Month once before, nearly four years ago in April 2007.  Luna Moth sightings typically begin in February in the southernmost reaches of their range in Florida, and as spring progresses, sightings appear in the more northern climes, generally peaking in May for Maine and Canada.  Luna Moth adults do not feed and they have a very short lifespan.  Adults mate and lay eggs and quickly die, so if you have swarming Luna Moths, they must be spawning.  Thanks for getting our day off to a wonderful start.

Luna Moth

Thank you for the quick response.  As I’m sending you this email, two more of them just landed on my window.  Having grown up in Austin, TX, I had the good fortune of seeing the annual Monarch butterfly migration.  It’s quite a sight to see thousands of Monarchs together.  Here in Houston, the Natural Science Museum has a butterfly exhibit, which allows you to see the cocoon hatchery as well as an enormous walk through controlled environment where several species of butterfly and moth fly all around you.
Do you have a good source where I can find out what other “rare” species of moth are in this area?  We have also seen some interesting moths in the College Station are which, at first glance, we thought were hummingbirds.  Do you happen to know what these might be?  They moved very quickly, and were about the same size as the Luna.

Hi again Thad,
Though our category states that the Luna Moth is a rare species, that is not entirely true.  Some local populations, like yours, are apparently quite plentiful, though in other parts of their range, Luna Moths are quite rare.  The other moths you describe are probably Sphinx Moths in the family Sphingidae.  You can try to identify the species you saw on the Sphingidae of Texas webpage.

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Yellow moth
Location: Kumbia Queensland Australia
February 27, 2011 6:37 am
Hi ’Bugman’
I have been searching the net for identification of a moth I found today. I found a moth that was very similar but the markings on the wings are different and I think, so is the shape of the wings. I found it resting on the stairs of the school. Thought it was a toy one at first as it was such a bright yellow and I have seen rubber toy moths/butterflies on display recently at the local kindergarten.
Signature: E.

Gum Moth

Dear E.,
This is a Gum Moth in the genus
Opodiphthera, but we are not certain how to distinguish the different species.  The Moths of Australian Saturniidae webpage lists seven species in the genus.  The thumbnail of the Emperor Gum Moth, Opodiphthera eucalypti, looks correct, but that image is not on the Emperor Gum Moth page where all specimens seem very tan or brown. Opodiphthera astrophela, which does not have a common name, is described as “The female and male adult moths differ: The males are yellow, and the females grey. Originally they were thought to be different species. Both sexes have a brown eyespot on each wing, as well as two dark lines across each fore wing, and a curved dark line across each hind wing. They have a wingspan of about 8 cms. The species is found in the eastern quarter of Australia.”  That would explain the yellow coloration, but your moth is much larger than 8 cms.  It might also be Opodiphthera loranthiThe Csiro website shows some color variations.  Perhaps the best choice is Opodiphthera fervida which is described as  “yellow with a brown eyespot on each wing, and a brown line across each wing. The moths have a wingspan of about 8 cms.  The species is found in Queensland.”  We will contact Bill Oehlke to see if he can provide a species identification.  We are copying him on our response to you as well since he may request permission to include your photo on his website.

Bill Oehlke provides an Identification: Opodiphtera astrophela
Hi Daniel,
This moth is depicted on WLSS.  I am surprised you did not see it. Thanks for thinking of me.
This is email I just sent to E.

Hi E.,
The moth you sent to Daniel Marlos for identification is Opodiphtera astrophela. I will be sending Daniel a copy of this email.
I wish permission to post the image, credited to you, to one of my webpages. If you grant permission, please send complete name so I can credit you properly, or I can just use E.
if you wish to remain anonymous.
Very nice picture.
Bill Oehlke

Thanks so much Bill.  In my defense, I was multitasking, which is not an efficient way for me to work.  I was putting most of my attention into assembling a lasagna sin carne for an Academy Awards party in my neighborhood.  I like the quote:  “Opodiphthera astrophela, formerly Antheraea simplex, (wingspan: 16 cm) flies in the eastern quarter of Australia, Central Queensland to central New South Wales from your website with the larger wingspan that troubled me in other species descriptions.  Also in my defense, E’s lovely photo of a vitally living male specimen and the way the vivid chrome yellow colors contrast with the floral print blouse cannot be compared to the desaturated coloration of the mounted specimens.  This photograph is a stunning example of edgy composition in nature photography.  If we ever print another calendar, this image would be a strong contender.

P.S. Unnecessary Carnage: It saddens us to see this example of unnecessary carnage.  Scroll down to “Opodiphtera astrophela  Rare and endemic Australian species. Male A1, female close to perfect. Pair: €120 SOLD”.

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salt marsh caterpillar > cocoon > now a moth!
Location: Arcadia, FL
February 22, 2011
It hatched
Allyson Maiolo
2nd Grade Teacher
Nocatee Elementary

Salt Marsh Moth

Dear Allyson,
Thanks for keeping us informed regarding the metamorphosis of this Salt Marsh Moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Namibian Moth???
Location: Windhoek, Namibia
February 21, 2011 5:27 pm
Dear All,
I just found this insect and I have never seen anyting like it before – I don’t think its a butterfly but could it be a moth of some sort??
I found it during the day but we have had a very heavy rainy season (not sure if this is helpfull in any way)and its around 20mm in length and about 40mm wide.
Any advce in this regard ould be greatly appreciated.
Signature: Ernst A. Schnaitmann

Maid Alice Wasp Moth

Hi Ernst,
You are correct that this is a Moth.  We believe it is a Wasp Moth in the subtribe Euchromiina, so named because the diurnal adults mimic wasps.  We do not have time to try to identify the species at the moment, but perhaps on of our readers will have some success while we are at work.

Maid Alice Wasp Moth

Karl provides an identification
Hi Daniel and Ernst:
This looks like another ‘Handmaiden’ wasp moth, probably Amata alicia. Check out a previous WTB? post by Gabriel on November 18, 2010, or this excellent photo of a Maid Alice on the African Moths website. Regards. Karl

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What type on God’s green earth is this moth?????
Location: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
February 18, 2011 3:48 am
This photo was taken last night on the screen door of my cousin’s apartment in Cairns, Australia. What sort of moth is it??? Is there something wrong with it – it looks like it has eggs or bubbles or something on it’s head. My cousin also said it has ’horns’
Signature: Researched Out!


Dear Researched Out,
We are exhausted thinking about what it must be like to research this creature.  We believe it is a member of the superfamily Noctuoidea, and in a playful moment, we would call it a Noctuoid.  We can’t help but to wonder if that odd blue head is a trait of this moth, or if there is something alien going on.  We don’t have the time to research this at the moment, and we might even believe it would be a fruitless search.

Update from Karl
Hi Daniel and Researched Out:
I don’t know if I can advance this any further but I will give it a shot.  It is unfortunate that the photo isn’t a little sharper because there appear to be some fairly distinctive details that are frustratingly not quite discernible.  The overall appearance and color look a lot like the Fruit-piercing Moth (Noctuidae: Catocalinae), Eudocima iridescens (formerly Othreis iridescens). The front end of this moth is definitely strange and interesting and could perhaps, under certain conditions, be interpreted as covered in bubbles (if they really were bubbles then I remain stumped). It has a distinctive ruff of raised feathery hairs that looks similar to your photo. This could give the appearance of ‘horns’, and I did come across one site that described the females as having horns.  Does this look something like what you saw? Regards.  Karl.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination