What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Wasp Mimic Moth from BVI
January 27, 2010
I think this may be a Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth, Empyreuma affinis, but with much darker upper wings and black body compared to the more familiar examples with bright red wings and iridescent blue body. Is this perhaps the male?
Donald Gudehus
Necker Island, British Virgin Islands

Empyreuma anassa

Dear Donald,
We agree that this is some species of Arctiid, but we do not believe it to be the Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth, despite the similarities.  Perhaps it is another species in the same genus.  We will write to Julian Donahue, and expert in the Arctiids, to see if he is able to provide an identification.

Empyreuma anassa

Julian Responds
A recent revision of Empyreuma has made E. affinis (type locality: Cuba) and some other named taxa  synonyms of E. pugione (type locality St. Thomas, Virgin Islands). E. pugione is the only species of Empyreuma known from the Virgin Islands.
The only other species currently placed in Empyreuma is E. anassa from Jamaica.
Julian P. Donahue

Update:  February 4, 2010
Dear Marlos,
I read Julian Donahue’s comments and compared an image of Empyreuma anassa at
with my photo.  They appear to be the same species.  So, if that is so, E. pugione = E. affinis is not the only Empyreuma known from the Virgin Islands.

We love that the Moths of Jamaica website has the same background color as our own website.  When we first clicked the link, we thought we went to What’s That Bug? for a brief moment.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

2 Responses to Unknown Arctiid from British Virgin Islands is Empyreuma anassa

  1. sidestepper says:

    I just took a picture of what was clearly an Empyreuma anassa from Jamaica – but I live in Orlando. Has this species been traveling?

  2. Vicki says:

    I was on a sail boat charter 5 weeks ago in May. We were sailing to Jost Van Dyke when at the helm, a flying insect flew into my left nostril and stung me what felt like several times before exiting. I never saw this obviously small insect. I have no allergies and have been stung by bees before without any reaction. The nasal chin area is known as the danger or death triangle because of the cavernous sinus and its communication to the facial/optic nerves and to the brain.; (I’m
    an RN). Within 5 hours I had to be rushed to a first aid station, given IV bolus meds to reverse the anaphylactic shock. I’m fine now and carry an epi-pen. I really want to know about what kind of very small flying insect could this have been? Thank you!

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