June 5, 2010
I would greatly appreciate an ID on these moths. The one looked like a cecropia, but I wasn’t sure. I know that patterns can vary considerably depending on location. Thank you!
St. Peters PA
We are posting your two identification requests separately, since they represent different moth families. The yellow moth is a Geometrid moth in the genus Xanthotype, and BugGuide remarks: “Rindge (1978) examined 1,886 specimens (1441 males, 445 females) and made 261 genitalic dissections. He stated: ‘No one has found a reliable way to recognize the species as yet except by genitalia. The adults of all species in this genus are, for practical purposes, externally indistinguishable from one another, as they are almost identical in color, maculation, and size.’” We believe that based on the sighting occurring in Florida, this may be the Rufous Geometer, Xanthotype furaria, because BugGuide also indicates: “X. rufaria is a southern species; it gets as far north as coastal NC and then follows the coast to Florida and Mississippi. The dot on his map in the mountains of NC seems odd compared with the other dots for this species. It is a specimen from Stone Mountain State Park, Wilkes and Allegheny counties.“