French mystery moth.
Location: Montpelier, southern France
July 27, 2010 12:21 pm
My sister recently found this moth in her garden. She lives near Montpelier in southern France. Could you identify it please,as it is not listed in any of my moth reference books.
We believe you may have photographed a Fruit Piercing Moth based on its appearance, though we are not certain if Fruit Piercing Moths are found in France. Here is a link to an Australian species. We are posting your letter and photos in the hope that one of our readers can supply any supporting or contradicting information.
Karl researches the Answer
Hi Daniel and Nigel:
This was very tricky one because it does look like an Underwing or Fruit-piercing Moth – and it is in the wrong hemisphere! I was able to track it down only because it reminded me of a species of Castnia that I photographed in Costa Rica last winter. It is actually a Castniid moth (Castniidae), a small and mostly neotropical family of day-flying moths (a few species in Australia and Asia). They are also called Butterfly Moths and are often mistaken for butterflies. The species is Paysandisia archon and according to Wikipedia: “It is native to Uruguay and central Argentina and has been accidentally introduced to Europe, where it is spreading rapidly. It is considered the only member of the genus Paysandisia.” The larvae are palm borers and are considered a serious pest. The spread of this species is being closely tracked in France and several other Mediterranean countries and it is likely that someone may be interested in this sighting. Regards. Karl
Hello Daniel and Karl,
Thankyou both so much for getting a positive identification on this moth, it appears to be quite a rarity.