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Make plans for your own local National Moth Week event!!!
Posted February 1, 2012

What’s That Bug? will be working the the Mt Washington Beautification Committee to sponsor a National Moth Week event, albeit a few days early to accommodate the busy schedules of the folks involved.  Retired lepidopterist from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Julian Donahue, will be leading the event on the evening of July 21, 2012 in Elyria Canyon Park.  Julian plans to use a black light to attract moths that can be identified, counted and released.  Julian will also provide insight into the life cycles of those moths and how they fit into the ecological environments of the native Black Walnut woodland and coastal sage ecosystems found in Elyria Canyon Park.  Join us for a fun evening.

White Lined Sphinx

Hi Daniel…it has been a long time, so I hope all is well on your end. I visit WTB often and the site remains incredible! I sent an email to you about two weeks ago, but to a different email address so I suspect it wound up somewhere in cyberland. Julian Donahue suggested I reach out via this email so hopefully it will now connect. I understand you and Julian are neighbors. Cool, two bug guys as neighbors, what are the odds?
So,  I wanted to touch base about an exciting project we are working on. It’s called National Moth Week and is basically a cool way to spotlight moths and biodiversity. Hopefully it will bring a lot of people together with similar interests and turn on a lot of people to moths! We have a website up and running, though it needs work (like an interactive map, photos etc.) but its a start and is now being modified regularly to increase content and locations. Its at www.nationalmothweek.org We’ve got a cool logo too. BugGuide, Discover Life, BAMONA and Moth Photographers Group are on board and Dave Wagner and John Himmelman have also lent their support and will likely run or coordinate events. There has been unanimous positive feedback about holding a National Moth Week next year from everyone we’ve reached out to. We are also talking to LepSoc, AES, ESA, and others about being partners. The more we can spread the word about moths and biodiversity, the better!

We’d love to have WTB as a collaborator and link it to the website and Facebook and vice versa and have help promoting this . I think all of us together can do something fun and incredible to bring attention to moths and more broadly biodiversity. I think these events and National Moth Week might just be the perfect venue for raising environmental awareness across the country.
Look forward to hearing from you about this and hopefully WTB as a partner,  Dave
David Moskowitz

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Pacific Green Sphinx Moth
Location: Mariposa, California
January 30, 2012 11:27 pm
Dear Bugman,
I took these photos of this beautiful green moth last night, and I found this site while attempting to identify him. He was in the garage, on a damp towel I needed to launder, so I coaxed him onto my hand and took some photos.
Signature: Laura Pound

Pacific Green Sphinx

Dear Laura,
Thanks so much for sending your photos of a lovely Pacific Green Sphinx,
Arctonotus lucidus, also known as the Bear Sphinx according to Bill Oehlke’s website, the Sphingidae of the Americas.  We are going to copy Bill on our response in the event he wants to include your sighting data in the comprehensive database he is keeping.  Winter sightings seem most common. 

Pacific Green Sphinx

 

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moth ID
Location: Termeil,NSW….state forest
January 30, 2012 8:18 am
translucent bug,2.5” long,turned up before rain not long after sunset,temp 30C plenty other bugs around,attracted to light…and there’s another moth and a Longhorn Beetle all in the one night.
Signature: Bugger

Ghost Moth

Dear Bugger,
Taxonomically, your three creatures are in three different insect orders, which screws around with our method of archiving postings, however, they are significant in that all three appeared in one night, so we are making an exception and keeping the posting intact.  Your moth that is on the shoe is a Ghost Moth in the family Cossidae, and they are also called Goat Moths, Carpenter Moths or Wood Moths according to the Butterfly House website.  The larvae are called Witchety Grubs.  We just posted a letter yesterday with seven awesome images of a mating pair of Ghost Moths, so it would seem they are currently in season in Australia.

Poinciana Longicorn

We are nearly certain that your beetle is a Poinciana Longicorn, Agrianome spinicollis, and the larva is another wood boring grub.  The photo from the Agriculture of Western Australia website is a match.  The Queensland Museum website states:  “This species is found in rainforest and open forest in eastern Australia. It is common in Queensland and New South Wales and also occurs on Lord Howe Island. The larvae are huge white grubs found in rotten wood, especially dead Poinciana or fig trees. It is an important pest of pecan trees. The large adults sometimes blunder into house lights.  Identification  Length 60 mm. This is a very large, broad longhorned beetle with khaki wing-covers and a reddish-brown thorax edged with a row of pointed ‘teeth’. The antennae are a little longer than the body.”
Your final insect is some species of Antlion in the family Myrmeleontidae and you can see some examples on the Brisbane Insect website.  We believe it is most likely Heoclisis fundata which is pictured on Dave’s Garden.

Antlion

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Ed. Note:  April 21, 2013
While we believe much of the information here is correct, we believe the family to be Hepialidae, not Cossidae.  Check Csiro for verification.

Canberra moth
Location: Bruce, Canberra
January 28, 2012 7:13 pm
Last night we found a massive moth on our porch, it was about 10cm in length and weighed about 45 grams. We were worried that our cats might think it would make a nice snack so decided to move it. It jumped onto my hand and was heavy and warm. We put it in a tree. We were worried it might not survive the move…..this morning we got up to check on the moth….and it had met up with another moth
Signature: Mel

Ghost Moth from Australia

Dear Mel,
We are pretty certain that you had an encounter with a Ghost Moth in the family Cossidae, possibly
Endoxyla leucomochla which is pictured on the Butterfly House website.  The caterpillar is a wood borer that is called a Witchetty Grub, though alternate spellings include:  “Witjuti, Witchedy, Wichetty, Witchety, witchjetti”.  According to Butterfly House:  “The adult is a large finely mottled grey moth, with wings suffused with rusty red towards the bases, and with a wingspan of about 16 cms. It has degenerate mouthparts, and so cannot feed. It relies for energy totally on the nourishment taken in by the Caterpillar earlier in its life.”  We would not discount that it might be some other member of the genus as they all look quite similar.  There are many possibilities pictured on Butterfly House

Mating Ghost Moths

According to the Brisbane Insect website, Ghost Moths are also called Wood Moths and:  “Moths in the family Cossidae are from large to very large size. They have long and narrow wings like those of Hawk moths. They are mostly brown or grey in colours. Most have the inverted “U” shape on thorax. When rest, they held their wings roof-wise. The adult moths in this family do not feed so their mouth parts are largely reduced.”  While he was researching his book, The Curious World of Bugs, Daniel learned that an Australian Ghost Moth has the record number of eggs laid for a non-social insect, 29,100.

Mating Ghost Moths

Thank you so much for your speedy reply – I got a little bit addicted to your website today.  I actually think it is a Wattle Goat Moth (Endoxyla affinis) – I have some even better photos now (they spent alot of time mating in our garden and it was easier to get good pics in the arvo) – anyway, let me know if you want me to send them through. What an amazing pair they were.

Hi again Mel,
The Wattle Goat Moth,
Endoxyla affinis, did occur to us as another possibility.  We would love to post one or two better images.

Ghost Moth

Here a some photos of both the male and female moth…..I think the female was the bigger one and had a very active scent gland which I took a photo of, the male had some blue on his head. Big storm last night and both moths have gone now :-(

Ghost Moth

Thanks for sending additional photos Mel.  We hope they will contribute to a positive species identification.  The close-up photo appears to be a sexual organ.

detail of a Ghost Moth

The newest image you sent of the mating pair is also a nice addition.

Mating Ghost Moths

 

 

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Malaysian Butterfly
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
January 26, 2012 8:22 pm
This butterfly (?moth) flew in the open window last night and landed on my shoulder while watching TV! Can you help me identify it?
Signature: Jason

Tropical Swallowtail Moth

Dear Jason,
We rather quickly identified your moth as
Lyssa zampa on the Habitat News website from Singapore, though it helped greatly that we recognized the family as Uranidae.  The Habitat News website states:  “The species is found across the Indo-Australian region and is usually enountered in forested areas and nearby urban areas, as it is attracted to the lights there. Altitudinally, they can be found as high as 2,600 metres on Gunung Kinabalu, Sabah! The food plants of the caterpillars are reportedly species of Endospermum (Family Euphorbiaceae); see Barlow’s Moths of Borneo.  While they flutter around readily at night, they are usually immobile in the day (unless disturbed and need to relocate to a suitable perch), allowing a good view of their beautiful wings. I remember the spectacular (and at the time, slightly intimidating) sight of numerous individuals perched on ceilings and walls on damp nights when I was a child. I am of the impression they were more numerous three decades ago.”  In a more recent posting to the Habitat New website, the moth is called the Tropical Swallowtail Moth.

Tropical Swallowtail Moth

Thanks Daniel, we really appreciate the feedback!
Regards,
Jason.

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what is this ??
Location: SE. Florida, Ft.Pierce
January 25, 2012 10:44 am
Dear Bugman, I found this flat bug in my bathroom, in S.E. FL. in January,
It is about the size and shape of a watermelon seed, speckled grey and black, it has a long thin head that appears to poke out and pull itself along. I have attached two photo’s
thanks for yur help.
Ray
Signature: Ray in FLA

Case Bearing Moth Larva

Dear Ray,
This is such a wonderfully detailed image of a Case Bearing Moth Larva.  While they might be considered as Household Pests that could damage organic fibers like wool, they are most likely benign and feeding off shed pet hair, human hair and other organic debris like food crumbs in the home.  The case is made of silk and incorporated particulate matter.

WOW, That was a fast response, Thank you for clearing that up. we called it a flounder bug., left it alone last night as we went to bed, When we woke up she was gone..
thanks again, great service you have.
Have a great day.
Ray

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination