From the monthly archives: "June 2006"

moth in Ohio
I live in Ohio. My kids and I came across this moth at our mailbox. Could you help us identify it? Thanks.

Hi Andrea,
This is a Pink Spotted Hawkmoth, Agrius cingulata. If the wings were open, you could see the distinctive pink spots on the abdomen.

Correction courtesy of a comment by Bostjan Dvorak
Sometimes they really look very similar, but I think this one is a Ceratomia species.

I finally ID’d that pink and white micro moth!
Please reference previous subject line: " Hello Cutey! Pink & White moth June 26, 2006 "
Hi again, After just sending a moth photo to you earlier today, I came across this little cutey flitting around my kitchen. Her length is 6/16ths inches from snout to wing tip and the same measurement across, from wing tip to wing tip while sitting still in the position seen in the photo. She’s a very nervous type, and it was hard to get this shot as she would take off every time I got near. Luckily, she’s not a very strong flier so she never went far. Can you help identify it? I’m thinking Tiger moth family? Again, I’m in the Chicago area, in Kane County, Illinois and this is another first time spotting this type of moth. It’s a real blessing to be seeing so many moths this year after they sprayed our whole area for gypsy moths a couple years ago and it effectively exterminated most butterflies and moths as well. 🙁 Thanks for having such an awesome site to come to with questions. I almost always find the id’s I’m looking for, or at least something in the same family to put me in the right direction. Cheers! Michelle

Hi again, I dropped you a line asking about this moth but now I’ve gotten my answer. It’s a Raspberry Pyrausta Moth! (Pyrausta signatalis) Appropriate name considering the beautiful color, don’t you think? Though many of this subfamily of micro moths are considered crop pests, this particular one’s larval form feeds on mints (the plants of course! LOL) I was wondering if that might make it taste bad to predators? Or at least it would give them better breath! LOL You can see it for identification on the "moth photographers group" website. (I also sent you a note about this cool site today, in case you’d never seen it) Here’s the link to the page with this moth on it:
It’s number 5034 on plate number 25.1 , according to a Mr. Bob Patterson of Bob’s Entomology Hobby in Maryland (he’s a contributor of that website " photographers group"
Also found it on their Live Moth plates on this page. This is where you can see them as they naturally pose when alive. Lastly, I did find it on the BugGuide site eventually, though their pic was of a vary worn out dull looking moth, I didn’t recognize it when I was looking there before. I have sent them my pic in case they’d like to use it too. Have a great day!
Michelle Nash – Official Nature Nut
PS – I sooooo love your site!

Hi Michelle,
Thank you for following up on your original letter. We get as many as 100 requests per day and have no staff. Only the tiniest fraction can be posted and a few more are given brief answers. As we did not immediately recognize your moth, it was on the back burner until we had time for research. Thank you so much for giving us all the information you discovered. Imagine that amount of web research x 100 letters per day, plus time to reformat and post to a website, and perhaps you will understand our situation.

Lucanus Capreolus sends his thanks! Also: Firefly – Photinus
Hi Bugman —
The “Lucanus capreolus, Reddish-brown Stag Beetle” in the attached photo would like to thank you for saving its life! Normally, I’m a “Smash First, Ask Questions Later” kind of person when it comes to bugs, and had it not been for a recent visit to your website, where I happened upon a picture of the Elephant Stag Beetle, “Smash First” would definitely have been my reaction upon catching sight of this monstrous *beast* hanging out near the garage door on Sunday. (It was five inches long! I swear! Well… in my head, anyway. In reality, it was probably about 1.5 inches long.) Anyway, having learned from WTB that these are fairly harmless to people, I let him be. Last I saw, he was headed back to sit amongst the geraniums. (Where, unbeknownst to me until I checked the photos later that evening, he had been hiding out while I was taking some other flower pictures. (Mental note to self: Always wear your Mud Gloves when poking around in the flowers.)) Also attached are some pictures of a Firefly (Lampyridae), Genus Photinus, crawling around on the aforementioned geraniums. I couldn’t find any of this particular genus on your website already, and thought you might like some. Thanks again for WTB!
Sun Prairie, WI

Stag Beetle Firefly

Hi Brenda,
Thanks for your nice letter and we are thrilled our humble site helped to save your local Stag Beetle.

Large Moth – Possibly Giant Silkworm?
Hi, i took this photo in our front garden earlier – there was also a female in our back garden but i couldnt get a photo. I would love to know what it is, but all the references ive seen have the wings the other way round… Anyway, hope you can identify it. Thanks

Hi Andrew,
The Modest Sphinx, depicted in your photo, is sometimes called the Big Poplar Sphinx, but that common name also refers to another species.

moth identification
Hello! Thanks so much for your great webpage! I can usually identify moths on my own but I’m having trouble with a couple we found the other night in Black Mountain, NC. My friend took the following photos (feel free to use them on your site.) We’d love to know what they are. I can’t find this sphinx anywhere! Also, I didn’t see a hydrangea sphinx on your site so I thought you might like this photo, which does a great job showing their color. Thanks in advance!
Eliza & Richard

Spotted Apatelodes Hydrangea Sphinx

Hi Eliza and Richard,
Thank you for sending the Hydrangea Sphinx, Darapsa versicolor, photo to us. One of your unidentified moths is not a sphinx, but a a Spotted Apatelodes Moth, Apatelodes torrefacta. This moth ranges from Canada to the Southern state and west to the Mississippi River. It is relatively common in the Appalacian region. It is in the family Bombycidae (Silkworm Moths). The other moth will require some research from us, but sadly, we haven’t time right now.