Pretty Bug
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.
Bob Blaney
Manitoulin Island, Canada

Virginia Ctenuchid

Virginia Ctenuchid

Hi Bob,
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.

5 Responses to Virginia Ctenuchid

  1. lyzabets says:

    I just photographed a ctenuchid moth in Siskiyou County in Northern California. It looks very much like the photo above except the moths here are a bright read on the head instead of orange. How do I post a picture of it? There were dozens of them flying around in the weeds here.

  2. Gregory Gilmer says:

    I just saw these yesterday at Roessler’s Point, Palos Verdes, CA. They were feeding from the flowers of a Natal plum hedge. Aren’t they far from their natural range?

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