can you help identify this bug?
Location: houston/cypress, texas
December 2, 2011 11:23 am
We were curious what kind of bug this is. Any ideas?
Signature: thank you, jennifer

Unknown Wasp Moth

Dear Jennifer,
This is actually a Moth that mimics a wasp for protection.  We cannot determine for certain from your photo if this is a member of the family Sesiidae (see BugGuide), our first choice, or of the Tiger Moth subtribe Euchromiina (see BugGuide).  The Moth Photographers Grouphas many similar looking members in the family Sesiidae, commonly called the Clearwing Moths, though we cannot find an exact match.  The markings on the legs and antennae are quite distinctive in your photographs.

Unknown Wasp Moth

Karl provides an identification
Hi Daniel and Jennifer:
It looks like Horama plumipes. The taxonomy for Wasp Moths (as well as Tiger Moths and related taxa) is a little confusing as the whole group has been undergoing revision. Some internet sites still classify the genus Horama as Family Arctiidae: Subfamily  Ctenuchinae, but most have now switched to Family Erebidae: Subfamily Archtiinae. This includes Bugguide (which includes H. panthalon [the Texas Wasp Moth] but doesn’t appear to have any photos H. plumipes) and the Butterflies and Moths of North America site (but again, no images). Horama plumipes is primarily a Central American species, ranging from Southern Texas to Nicaragua. I suspect it is rather rare in Texas. You can also check out the Moth Photographers Group or the site for the Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG), Costa Rica. Regards. Karl


Location: Texas

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