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

Whats this bug
Location: Cancun Mexico
April 27, 2011 4:01 pm
Took this picture in January in Mexico South ofCancun in 2007
Looks like a fly?, Antennae like a butterfly, and weird fuzzy legs….
Very cool though
Signature: Sean

Clearwing Moth from Mexico

Hi Sean,
What a positively gorgeous Clearwing (we know it seems like a misnomer) Wasp Mimic Moth in the family Sesiidae, an interesting group nicely represented on BugGuide. We will try to correctly identify the species for you.  Perhaps Karl will give it a shot.

Correction Courtesy of Karl
Hi Daniel and Sean:
Wasp Moth is a somewhat generic term used to describe wasp mimicking moths from several families. This one is actually an Arctiid moth (Erebidae: Arctiinae), Horama plumipes, which ranges throughout Central America and as far north as southern Texas. Regards.  Karl

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

which hawk moth?
Location: kibbutz mashabe sade negev israel
April 15, 2011 2:22 pm
hi i live in the negev in israel on a kibbut. i saw these moths flying around in the garden like humming birds thats how i tracked them down to hawk moths.maybe hippotion, am i right? they move with incredible speed took a while to work out how to photograph them. noticed them for about a week and now they seem to be gone, do they migrate? any additional info would be great. thanks
Signature: geora

Striped Hawkmoth

Hi Geora,
We are nearly certain your moth is a Striped Hawkmoth,
Hyles livornica, a common species in Israel that can get quite plentiful.  You may compare your individual to the images posted on the Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic website. We recently posted a photo of Striped Hawkmoth Caterpillars from Israel and we have also posted images of great swarms of the moths from Iraq.  We are preparing your letter to post live to our site in several days during our absence from the office.  Your photos are quite marvelous.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Location: Los Angeles, CA
April 14, 2011 5:09 pm
This Moth appeared on my window screen in Los Angeles yesterday. Is now mating with a second. It is about 3 inches wing tip to wing tip.
What Kind of Moth?
Shoudl I be concerned with moth babies?
Signature: Dan

One Eyed Sphinx

Dear Dan,
We believe this is a Salicet Sphinx,
Smerinthus saliceti, based on the Sphingidae of the Americas website, though we would not rule out the possibility that it is the closely related One Eyed Sphinx, Smerinthus cerisyi.  You have nothing to be concerned about.  Immature Moths are caterpillars.  We are actually a bit envious as we have never seen either species at our Mt. Washington, Los Angeles offices.  The related Striped Morning Sphinx and Carolina Sphinx are the only aerodynamic Hawkmoths that visit our own porch light.  We will see if Bill Oehlke can confirm our identification.  He may request additional information on the sighting location to include in his database of Sphingidae sightings in North America.

Bill Oehlke Replies
Hi Daniel,
There is very little to separate saliceti from cerisyi. Even the diagnostic feature that some use with the hindwing eyespot is not 100 percent consistent.
Generally saliceti is more of an orangey-brown to brown species while cerisyi is more grey brown to brown. The specimen in question seems to have quite a bit of grey so I am leaning towards cerisyi for that reason. I also feel the location is a bit too far north and west in California for it to be saliceti.
Although Tuttle maintains a distinction between the two species, he indicates that further research may prove them to just be variations of the same species.
I will send a copy of this to Dan in Los Angeles County, and will also request a larger image and permission to post.
Bill Oehlke

Bill and Daniel,
Great feedback from you both.  Thank you.
From the websites you shared I am 95% sure it is the cerisyi.  It was very grey…like old paper.  I have a large willow in my yard with the branches hanging down right by the window where it showed up.  As I mentioned there were 2 mating and they attached motionless for 12-24 hours.  They were gone this morning so no chance for a picture of them both together.  I am aware baby moths are caterpillars.  I am concerned that the larvae and then caterpillars may take to feasting on my willow tree.  If I see a large group of eggs, I will let you know.
Here are a couple more shots.  It is with my blackberry camera so apologies for the lack of quality.  You have permission to post.  The one with the ruler is fro the inside of the house.  the perspective is off, it was bigger than what it shows as the tape measure was closer to the camera.  I also include the original shot here.
Dan Yokich

Thanks for the additional information Dan.  We can’t imagine the caterpillars doing any lasting harm to your willow tree.  We would implore you to allow the caterpillars to feast should they happen to hatch on your tree.

Understood. We had a issue with butterflies laying thousands of eggs on 10 to 15 boughs. It was a mess with black caterpillars falling down and stripping long lengths of branches.
This sounds much different with just a few eggs here and there.
We will let them feast.

Since your tree is a willow, we expect the butterfly that laid eggs on your tree was a Mourning Cloak.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Location: jacksonville, nc
April 13, 2011 8:59 pm
I found this little guy at work hiding out on the steps, probably praying not to get stepped on. What kind is it? He’s white with black circles all over him, almost looks like someone dew on him with a black marker lol
Signature: Meg

Eyed Tiger Moth

Dear Meg,
This pretty little Tiger Moth is commonly called an Eyed Tiger Moth or Giant Leopard Moth.  There is a great deal of variation in the spotting pattern between individuals.  Adult Eyed Tiger Moths do not feed and the caterpillars are commonly called Woolly Bears.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What’s this funny insect?
Location: Sydney, Australia
April 13, 2011 7:03 am
This creature was on the wall the other day. I have never seen anything like it. Any idea what it is? Is it dangerous? The spike on the back looks a bit scary!
Signature: Carey

Bagworm Moth

Dear Carey,
Just a few days ago, we had another identification request for this flightless female moth from Australia, and it was identified as a Bagworm Moth
, Cebysa leucotelus.  Only the females are flightless.  We suspect that is an ovipositor protruding from her abdomen.

Female Bagworm Moth

Dear Daniel,
Thank you for that! I hope she laid her eggs outside first.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

is this a moth?
Location: central Nebraska
April 11, 2011 11:19 pm
I found this in my house. He was hanging on to the wall like a cicada, but he can run pretty quickly. Those look like immature wings, but I thought moths came out fully formed. It is the first week of April and this is one of the first insects I’ve seen this year.
Signature: Jerry

Unknown Flightless Female Moth

Hi Jerry,
Congratulations on correctly classifying this as a Moth.  It is a flightless female Moth, though we need some time to attempt to identify the species.  There are many moth species that have flightless females.  Perhaps one of our readers can provide an identification while we are at work today.  As an aside, we get very few identification requests from Nebraska.  We wonder if it is perhaps the Winter Moth,
Operophtera brumata, a species accidentally introduced to North America from Europe.  Here is a photo of the Winter Moth on BugGuide.

Unknown Flightless Female Moth

I tend to agree that there is a good possibility that this is a female “Winter Moth” but the question still remains is it the exotic “Winter Moth” Operophtera brumataor one of the native Geometrid “Winter Moths”.  I know that here in the state of Michigan, we are on the look out for the exotic pest and maybe the good folks in Nebraska may be wondering of its establishment in their great state.  Us humans have the ability to help move these exotic species around and this problematic species is established in several states.  Puzzling though is that the adults are out and about from November to January but maybe this one was lucky to over winter indoors?
My Two Cents
United States Department of Agriculture

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination