Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 3:00 PM
This may be the prettiest insect I have ever photographed — but what the heck is it?? Any help would be appreciated.
Manitoulin Island, Canada
This is a moth known as the Virginia Ctenuchid, Ctenucha virginica. Interestingly, we just posted a photo of a close relative, the Veined Ctenuchid, Ctenucha venosa, also from Canada. What was most interesting is that the Veined Ctenuchid typically ranges in the American Southwest, and it was about 1000 miles from home. The Virginia Ctenuchid is the only true eastern member of the genus. The orange and blue coloration of the moth looks beautiful with the magenta blossom, a thistle we believe. You may read more about the Virginia Ctenuchid on BugGuide.