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

Subject: confused
Location: New york
August 18, 2014 5:13 am
I found caught and let go of this bug im trying to know if its a moth or butterfly we live in newyork in a basic apartment and it never wanted to leave i kept it in a cup then i let it go out the window and IT KEPT COMING BACK!!!!!
Signature: Harley Quinn

Underwing Moth

Underwing Moth

Dear Harley,
This gorgeous moth is an Underwing Moth in the genus
Catocala, but we are uncertain of the species.  This is a large genus, and according to bugGuide:  “Lafontaine & Schmidt (2010) listed 101 species of the genus Catocala in America north of Mexico. Powell & Opler (2009) reported 110 species in all of North America.”  The common name Underwing is derived from the contrasting and often brightly colored underwings that are generally hidden when the moth is resting.  They flash when the moth is in flight, causing a predator to search for a colorful prey, but while the moth is resting camouflaged on a tree trunk, it eludes its hunter and avoids getting eaten.  You didn’t indicate if this sighting was during the day or at night.  Underwings are often attracted to lights at night.

Underwing Moth

Underwing Moth

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Walnut Underwing
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date:  June 27, 2014
Most every year, we get at least one visit from a Walnut Underwing, and since the endangered California Black Walnut Trees in the yard are growing nicely, we hope we will see an increase in the moth population.  About a week ago, a tattered individual was on the porch light and for the past several days, this beauty has been seen at night and is generally on the screen door the next morning.  Last night, a huge commotion in the kitchen turned out to be our feisty feline Boris trying to catch this Walnut Underwing which was on the other side of the glass window.  Thought it landed with its underwings visible, it flew before we could get the camera.  These dorsal and ventral (somewhat showing the patterns on the underwings) views will have to suffice for now.

Walnut Underwing

Walnut Underwing

Walnut Underwing

Walnut Underwing

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Some kind of moth?
Location: North shore of Lake Erie
September 11, 2013 2:17 pm
Wondering what it is. Love it’s camouflage!
Signature: BeeJay

Underwing Moth

Underwing Moth

Dear BeeJay,
While this Underwing Moth in the genus Catocala stands out against the painted blue wall, if it had landed on a tree trunk, it would be nearly invisible like this Walnut Underwing on a carob tree at our Mount Washington, Los Angeles office.  The camouflage you mentioned is even more pronounced if you consider the coloration of the moth’s underwings, which are often brightly colored like this Underwing.  When the moth is startled and takes flight, the bright colors are quite noticeable, and a predator, like a bird, would be searching for those colors and overlook the Underwing once it lands again on a matching trunk.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Buggy Accessory:  Walnut Underwing
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
September 1, 2013
This Walnut Underwing was on the front door in the morning.  We spotted it before the sun rose.  We waited for better light to photograph it.  It makes a lovely accessory on Jennifer’s scarf.

Buggy Accessory:  Walnut Underwing

Buggy Accessory: Walnut Underwing

As moths go, Underwings are rather long lived, like many Noctuoids.  A Walnut Underwing visits our office certain summers.  We are confident it is subsequent generations, but we are also confident that Walnut Underwings are reproducing in Elyria Canyon Park.  When Underwings fly, they reveal their gaily colored underwings, a survival adaptation that attracts the attention of insectivorous birds that lose the moth when it alights camouflaged on a tree trunk.

Walnut Underwing

Walnut Underwing

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s that bug?
Location: India
August 25, 2013 6:01 pm
I want to know about this creature..
Signature: Self

Fruit Piercing Moth

Fruit Piercing Moth

Dear Self,
This is a Fruit Piercing Moth,
Eudocima materna, and we found matching photos on FlickR and Wikimedia Commons.  The moths have a proboscis that is capable of piercing the skin of many types of fruit, enabling the moth to feed on the juice.  This habit ensures them a position as an agricultural pest in many parts of the world.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Prominent Moth
Location: Nth Burnett. Queensland Australia
December 4, 2012 2:09 am
Hi guys,
A first encounter with this big beautiful moth and so far no luck in a positive ID. It is possibly the Eucalyptus Prominent Moth but there are few photos of it on the net and none of them very good.
I have submitted an ID request with our CSIRO’s Living Atlas project but so far they can’t provide an ID. The moth is 50mm with a wingspan around 80mm. The abdomen is orange as are the hind wings.
I particularly love the blue bands on the palps. Any ideas anyone?
Signature: Aussietrev

Fruit Piercing Moth

Hi Trevor,
If you ever determine the species of this comely Prominent Moth, please let us know.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist as well.

Fruit Piercing Moth

Update:  Eudocima fullonia
Thanks to a comment from Trevor, we now know that this is a Fruit Piercing Moth, Eudocima fullonia, and it is profiled on Butterfly House.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination