Mosquito on testosterone or Moth…maybe?
Location: Tsuchiura-City, Ibaraki-Prefecture, Japan
October 9, 2011 7:12 am
I tried to submit this a few minutes ago, but I didn’t get a confirmation message. When I sent you a message through your comment form, there was a confirmation, so I’ve decided to try again. …The second time didn’t work either. I’m going to try to send one photo at a time. I’m very sorry if you receive this inquiry several times.
I took this photo on October 9, 2011 in Tsuchiura, Japan (Pacific coast, about 60 km north of Tokyo). It was early afternoon, and the insect was on my car and not moving much.
I think it must be some kind of moth, but the wings are so small I can’t imagine how it can fly! The legs and head look quite a lot like those of a (giant!) mosquito. Also, interestingly, the tail end of the abdomen curves up slightly.
It’s certainly an interesting insect, but I cannot find anything that even remotely resembles it. Can you help?
Signature: Canadian bugging out in Japan
Dear Canadian bugging out in Japan,
You are correct that this is a moth. Most people don’t know how to classify Plume Moths from the family Pterophoridae when they encounter them since they don’t look like most moths. We get frequent requests to identify “T-Bugs”, an unofficial name used by many lay folks to describe the shape of the wings on Plume Moths. Your individual looks very much like a North American species we located on BugGuide, Geina perischelidactylus, commonly called the Grape Plume Moth, and we suspect it might be the same species or a closely related species. With the great increased ease of global human transportation, and the propensity for people to legally or illegally transport goods and produce, many invasive exotic species are being introduced to distant locations, and if conditions are suited, including climate and a readily available food source, they can become established and naturalized.
Did you receive my inquiry?
October 9, 2011 6:49 am
I just submitted two photos of a moth-like insect, but I didn’t get any kind of confirmation and the screen didn’t change. Also the swirly thing next to the send button didn’t stop.
I signed my letter ‘Canadian bugging out in Japan’
I’m sorry to bother you, I know you’re busy, but could you please confirm?
We did receive your inquiry, and your letter is posted to What’s That Bug? It is physically impossible for our small staff to respond to every request we receive, and sometimes we get inquiries like this, and if there is no photo attached, we are sometimes unable to track the previous email request, so we generally request that if people do not get a response, and we always try to respond directly to the request as well as posting significant letters and photos, we hope that our readership will not take it personally and just resubmit the entire request after a week. If they note “second request” in the subject line, that will catch our attention. Catchy subject lines are critically important if you want your letter to stand out from the rest.
Thank you so much for such a quick reply to my messages. I think you may very well be right that the plume moth was somehow imported from North America. I couldn’t find anything resembling it while searching for Japanese bugs.
I apologize again for the multiple messages. It seems that my pictures were too big to send together, but rather than getting an error message, it just kept on spinning away.
Thanks a lot for this wonderful site – fun and useful. I hope you can continue doing this work that you so obviously lobe for a long time.
Melissa in Japan