Subject: Moth with irridescent turquoise markings
Location: Sapa, Vietnam
February 11, 2013 4:15 pm
Dear bugman,
We saw this pretty little moth sitting on a path in a park in Sapa, Vietnam, and are hoping that you can tell us what it is. We have spent many hours combing pages of photographs of fantastically coloured insects, but no luck so far
Signature: Tricia

Forrester Moth

Hi Tricia,
This is the type of identification that might take considerable research, and we are going to post it as unidentified at this time in a effort to respond to some other queries this morning.  Perhaps one of our readers will have time to scour the internet for an identification while we are off on what will most likely be a very long day at our place of gainful employment.

Karl provides an identification
Hi Daniel and Tricia:
It looks like a Burnet or Forester moth in the genus Clelea (Zygaenidae: Procridinae), probably C. sapphirina. I couldn’t find confirmation that it is native to Viet Nam but it ranges from India to Hong Kong, so it seems reasonable that its range would include Viet Nam. It could also be another of the several species in the genus but C. sapphirina appears to be a close match. Regards.  Karl

Thanks Karl,
BugGuide refers to the family Zygaenidae as the Leaf Skeletonizer Moths.

Thank you very much for responding, and it will be interesting to see if the post produces anything. I hadn’t realised quite how many wonderful and fantastic bugs there were out there till I started seriously trying to identify what we’d seen –  if I was a bit younger I might have been inspired to be an etymologist!
Thanks anyway,

Hi again Tricia,
An etymologist is a person who studies word and their origins.  A person who studies insects is an entomologist.  We personally love the similarity in the pronunciation of these two fields and Daniel called the first chapter in his book, The Curious World of Bugs, “Entomology and Etymology:  What’s in a Name?”

Location: Viet Nam

2 Responses to Forrester Moth from Viet Nam

  1. The Realist of Qld says:

    I once ordered a Dictionary of Etymology from a specialist bookshop and was quiet bemused when they got me to come in and pick up my Dictionary of Entomology. You would think a specialist bookshop would have known the difference.

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