3 more moths from Rio
December 5, 2009
Dear WTB
Here are three more ID queries from my Brazilian photo collection.
The first is a big female Eacles, but I can’t match it up to a species.
The second is a mystery – I can’t even place it in a family. About 3cm long.
Number three is a strange hook-tipped moth that I think may be a saturnid of some sort, but I can’t find anything close online. A bit over 2 cm long.
I also used to get the Black Witch moths that you feature every year, only we had them in January and February, before they head north. I even managed to breed them on one occasion – spectacular caterpillars.
Any pointers you can give on the above would be gratefully received.
Nick P
SE Brazil, Rio de Janeiro

Eacles imperialis cacicus perhaps

Eacles imperialis magnifica

Hi Nick,
Our best resource for identifying Saturniid Moths is the World’s Largest Saturniidae Site that is a membership website.  We have gone through hundred of images of Giant Silk Moths from Brazil and we believe we can identify two of your specimens.  The female Eacles is possibly Eacles imperialis cacicus, and we found a link to a Saturniidae Breeder website that has an image of a pair for comparison.  The hook-tipped moth proved to be somewhat elusive, but we feel we found a close match in a male Hylesia nanus, though it may be a closely related species.  We then located an additional image of it on the Moths of Guyana website.  It is a mounted specimen, but it looks quite similar to your live specimen.  The third moth we believe is a Sphinx Moth and we will continue to research and post it separately.  We will try to contact Bill Oehlke to see if he agrees with these two Saturniidae identifications.

Hylesia nanus possibly

Hylesia nanus

Slight correction to subspecies from Bill Oehlke
I would go with
Eacles imperialis magnifica from Rio de Janeiro and
Hylesia nanus from Rio de Janeiro
Please ask your source to contact me as there are many Saturniidae of great interest to me from Rio de Janiero. I can probalby also id the Sphingidae if you/he want to send it along.
Bill Oehlke

Hi Daniel
Thanks very much for the very prompt reply and the IDs. The two links are also much appreciated – I had not found the Guyana one before, possibly because it is in French! but the collection of photos is excellent.  I have already got a lead on one of the other pics I submitted (the black moth with larva in my previous message) which looks to be an Arctiid, a Ctenuchinid, possibly of the genus Ptychotrichos based on similar wing pattern.
I have already emailed Bill back and hopefully can send him some images for his site.
Many thanks

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