What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Red, blue and black wasp Moth with white ‘boots’
July 12, 2010
This morning I was sitting on a bench in Sarchi, Costa Rica when a brightly coloured moth landed on my handed and proceeded to walk from hand to hand for roughly five minutes. After spending an hour doing some research I believe I’ve narrowed it down to the Cosmosoma genus and it most closely resembles the Scarlet Bodied Wasp Moth, but I’m interested to know the exact species.
Sarchi, Costa Rica

Wasp Moth

Hi Edward,
We agree that this is a Wasp Moth and it is most probably in the genus Cosmosoma.  We are going to try to check with Julian Donahue, an expert in Arctiids and a traveler to Costa Rica, to see if he can provide information on the species.

Unknown Wasp Moth

Very much a distinct species, as I so very subtly pointed out to you last night.
The Natural History Museum’s Costa Rican specimens of this moth are identified as “Cosmosoma” sp. (?new), near regia.
Quotation marks because the moth is currently placed in Cosmosoma, but that may not be the correct genus.
Regia was described from Venezuela; a closely related species, bogotense, with reduced hyaline wing patches, was described from Colombia.
So it would be safe to say that this moth appears to be what is currently recognized as Cosmosoma regia (Schaus, 1894).
Julian P. Donahue

Karl provides some information
July 14, 2010
Hi Daniel and Edward:
Hopefully we can get a confirmation (or correction) from Julian Donahue, but I am going to suggest that it is Cosmosoma regia.  I couldn’t find any online photos to compare to, but according to the identification keys and detailed descriptions provided by Hampson (1898) only C. regia and C. bogotense match most of the features visible in these excellent photos. Of the two, C. regia matches almost perfectly and is the only species with white tarsi, or ‘boots’.   The localities given are Venezuela and Peru for C. regia and Colombia for C. bogotense, but I doubt that either of these represent an accurate range. Regards.  Karl
http://www.archive.org/stream/catalogueoflepid13brit#page/n49/mode/2up (see Fig. 10)

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

3 Responses to Wasp Moth from Costa Rica

  1. MercuryCrest says:

    What an absolutely beautiful creature. Very nice pics.

  2. Hattie says:

    I found this post after doing an image search for Costa Rican clearwing moth (I’m in the UK & that’s what it reminded me of) after a friend in Costa Rica took a picture of a beautiful insect on his avocado seedling & posted it on FB. Dunno about white boots as its legs aren’t visible but everything else matches….this post is just to say thank you, really great site.

    • Hattie says:

      I blew up the picture on my computer & just visible, poking out from under a wing is a white boot! There’s no greater satisfaction than finding the answer to something you didn’t know before & really wanted to know. So, thanks again to all involved.

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