Subject: Carribean moth
Location: St. John, USVI
April 28, 2015 1:03 pm
Hi there Bugman!
On our recent spring break vacation in St. John, USVI, my son found a beautiful moth, which we have not been able to identify. I have searched online and Robert has combed through all his many bug books to no avail! We also took our pictures to the island’s nature center, but they couldn’t help us either. A professor at the University of Maryland suggested he was one of the tropical tiger moths. After looking through lots of images on your site, I’m guessing it is some type of wasp mimic.
I’ve attached two images of the insect. He was inside our vacation home, which was up a fairly high mountain on St. John. It was small, probably less than an inch long, and about the same across the widest part of its folded wings.
We would appreciate any info you can provide!
Signature: Tamara and Robert Grant

Tiger Moth:  Cosmosoma species

Wasp Moth: Cosmosoma achemon

Dear Tamara and Robert,
This diurnal Tiger Moth is one of the very effective wasp mimics in the genus
Cosmosoma and members of the genus are commonly called Wasp Moths.  We found a matching image on the Puerto Rico Moths page of Moth Photographers Group where it is identified as Cosmosoma achemon.  There is also a nice image on Insetologia, our sister site from Brazil.  Moths of Jamaica lists the range as:  “South America and Greater Antilles.”

Wasp Moth:  Cosmosoma achemon

Wasp Moth: Cosmosoma achemon

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much for the speedy ID – I can’t wait to tell Robert when he gets home from school today!

Location: St. John, US Virgin Islands

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