Currently viewing the category: "Pyralid and Snout Moths"
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Subject: Costa Rica moth no. 1
Location: Arenal area, Costa Rica
February 18, 2014 5:59 am
Came to lights at Arenal Observatory Lodge, about 600 meters elevation, Caribbean slope. I identified about 80 others, but none of the books that I could obtain or websites that I found helped with this one. Pictures taken in December 2013.
Unless you have access to better resources than I could find online, please don’t take a lot of time on this. I looked at all the sites listed on this useful page, in particular the Dan Janzen and Cameron Prybol cites, which where very useful for identifying most of my other moth pictures.
Signature: Ben Jesup

Unknown Moth

Siga pyronia

Hi again Ben,
Thanks so much for resending this image using our standard form and also for providing additional information.  Its robust body indicates it is a larger moth.  Can you recall the approximate size?  It reminds us of moths in the family Erebidae, which includes the Tiger Moths, Underwing Moths and the Black Witch.  This really is a pretty moth with such subtle coloration.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide an identification.

Yes, it is gorgeous–the most striking of the moths that I wasn’t able to identify.  (I did stumble across another picture of online somewhere, but it was unidentified there as well.)  And yes, it was pretty good sized, I would say at least a three-inch wingspan.  I was thinking it might be in one of the genera not too far from the underwing moths, but there are also so geometrids with a similar shape.  Maybe I should try to contact Dan Janzen or Cameron Prybol and see if they would be willing to take a look at the ones I couldn’t identify.
I’m a bit of a Luddite, but sometime I will try to figure out how to post all of pictures so that others might benefit from all of the work that I did trying to identify them.
Thanks again.

Karl provides an identification:  Siga pyronia
Hi Daniel and Ben:
What a beauty! My initial thought was Geometridae but that didn’t pan out so I had to widen my search. Having no luck at my usual sites, I turned to an old favorite of mine that I have been ignoring recently. The Electronic Biologia Centrali-Americana (EBCA) provides access to a vast wealth of information about the fauna of Central America. The information appeared originally in a series of thick volumes, published in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It can be a little daunting, but always rewarding. Your moth is Siga pyronia, a Crambid Snout Moth in the Family Crambidae. As far as I can tell the genus has only one other species, the gorgeous Moonlight Queen (Siga liris), which lives in South America. The EBCA provides an illustration (see figure 7) and good description on page 198, in: Lepidoptera-Heterocera. Vol. II (1891-1900) by Herbert Druce. In Ben’s photo, what appear to be grey colored bands are actually almost clear (hyaline) bands that allow the grey background to show through. The BoldSystems website also has a number of good pictures. Regards. Karl

Good morning Karl,
We are thrilled to be able to provide Ben with an identification thanks to your meticulous research.

Excellent!  Never would have guessed that it was a Crambid.  And thanks for the reference to the EBCA, which I hadn’t heard of.  It helped me identify a butterfly from my trip.  I looked through all of the moth plates, but couldn’t easily find any of my other unidentified moths.  I’d be curious to hear what Karl’s “usual sites” are—maybe they would help me identify the others.
Thanks again.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: scary cat o nine tail butt!
Location: Florida
December 6, 2013 11:53 am
Hi this bug was on a glass door inside my house in Vero Beach Florida. His butt sways back and forth in a threatening way he is maybe a half inch big. Are those stingers ,are they poison poison and what is he?
Signature: Blondeponder

Melonworm Moth

Melonworm Moth

Dear Blondeponder,
This is a Melonworm Moth
, Diaphania hyalinata, or a closely related species in the same genus.  The Melonworm Moth does not sting, nor is it poisonous, however, it is considered to be a pest species if its larvae are numerous.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on cucumber family plants: cucumber, melon, squash.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Black and white moths in the peach and nectarine trees
Location: Torrance, CA
July 26, 2013 11:33 pm
I know I have Oriental Fruit Moth larvae in my fruit, but this isn’t the adult. These guys are hanging out in my peach and nectarine trees. What’s my new worry?
Thanks in advance!
Signature: Linda Eremita

Pyralid Moth

Pyralid Moth

Hi Linda,
We believe this is a member of the superfamily Pyraloidea which contains Crambid Snout Moths and Pyralid Moths.  There is a Peach Pyralid Moth,
Dichocrocis punctiferalis, but if this photo on FlickR is to be believed, it is not your moth.  We also located an antique print of the species.  We may need to do additional research on this, and as we are leaving town unexpectedly, we hope to have a more definite answer to you in the next day.

Julian Donahue provides an identification
Always a detour. First, the name of your moth.
Yes, it’s a pyralid, but these days it’s in the Crambidae, split from the Pyralidae.
The moth is Glyphodes onychinalis (no common name), a native of Indo-Australia that was recently rediscovered in California (an earlier population disappeared) in Culver City by Don Sterba. It’s larvae feed on ornamental oleander (Nerium oleander) and the milkweed Gomphocarpus fruticosus (both of which impart toxicity to the adults).
The adult moths perch on any variety of nearby trees, but most certainly came from larvae that fed on nearby oleander. The record from Torrance is an apparent range extension, and the moth may be expanding its range from where it first appeared (most likely an accidental introduction).
I’m attaching a better photo from Don Sterba, the original discoverer of the new infestation, but note that it is copyrighted and may not be suitable for What’s That Bug?

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: a question – a blue moth from Ecuador
Location: Ecuador, Amazon basin, Napo, Cuyabeno
June 27, 2013 2:36 pm
Dear Colleague,
I would like to ask you as expert on moths some enthomology information. In the attachment I sent you the photo of the tropical blue moth from Ecuador, Amazon basin, Napo Province, Cuyabeno. Can you help me, please, with the exact determination?
Thank you very much for your kind help.
Veronika P.
Signature: Veronika

Unknown Blue Moth

Unknown Blue Pyralid Moth

Dear Veronika,
We decided to check the quantity of email that arrived today prior to going to sleep, and we are posting your photo, but we will not begin to attempt to identify your blue moth until we awake.

Update:  Possibly Blue Tiger
Hi again Veronika.  Your moth resembles the Blue Tiger,
Hypocrita plagifera, pictured on the Learn About Butterflies website.  While it is not identical, it does look close enough to be related, which would mean it might be classed with the Tiger Moths in the subfamily Arctiinae.  We will contact Julian Donahue to see if he can provide any information.

Julian Donahue provides a correction:
It’s a pyralid! And there are bushels of colorful ones in the Neotropics.

Dear Daniel,
thank you very much for your useful information, I am very glad. Originally, I found also the photo of Hypocrita plagifera on the website some time ago. But  since the graphics on the wings is not the same as I was not sure.
I am grateful for your help. I think it is not necessary to give this photo on the website. I would like to ask you to remove the photo of the blue moth from the web.
Thanks so much for your time and help :o)!

With all due respect Veronika, we will not remove your photo from our website.  You used our standard form which has a disclaimer that all photos and information submitted might be posted on our site.  We spent considerable time doing research and formatting your photo and email for the web.  We contacted an expert who provided a family identification for your Pyralid Moth.  We did this all free of charge as a public service for you.  Your photo will remain live in our archives.

Thanks so much for your good news, Daniel, I am very pleased that my photo of the moth with blue wings was included in this nice form in your valuable entomological archive. Fingers crossed your virtuous activities :o)!
Veronika P.

Thank you Veronika,
Now that we have a family Pyralidae for your moth, we might be able to get a genus or species identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mystery Moth in Florida
Location: Gainesville, Florida
November 1, 2012 7:51 pm
I saw this beautiful moth this morning in Paynes Prairie State Preserve in Gainesville, Florida. It was small, maybe about 1” long. I’ve never seen one like this before, and hope someone can help me ID it.
Signature: Krista

Red-Waisted Florella Moth

Dear Krista,
We really didn’t know where to begin searching for the identity of this lovely little moth, so we did an image search for “spotted moth Florida” and one of the images that came up is this FlickR posting of a Red-Waisted Florella Moth,
Syngamia florella, also called an Orange Spotted Flower Moth.  We verified that identification on BugGuide where it states “The diurnal moth is also attracted to lights.”

Thank you for your prompt reply and your good searching skills!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Small pink moth
Location: Southern Indiana
August 7, 2012 10:01 am
Dear Bugman,
Your website is really amazing. This is the first time I’ve had to utilize it personally. I can’t seem to identify this moth. It is very tiny. I was thinking something in the genus Pyrausta (species possibly laticlavia) but I am not certain. What do you think?
Signature: Stumped BugGirl

Coffee-Loving Pyrausta Moth

Dear Stumped BugGirl,
We believe you have nailed the genus
Pyrausta, but we believe we have found a better species match.  The part of the wing that attaches to the body is pink on your moth, and all the examples of Pyrausta laticlavia on BugGuide have a more orange color in that area.  We believe Pyrausta tyralis, the Coffee-Loving Pyrausta Moth, is a closer match based on the images posted to BugGuide which includes numerous photos of moths visiting similar composite flowers during daylight hours.  You can also compare your individual to the photos on the Moth Photographers Group and there are many beautiful images on Steph’s Virtual Butterfly Garden that were taken in Florida.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you for the quick response and for the work you put into this website. It is a great tool!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination