From the daily archives: "Tuesday, April 26, 2016"

Subject: Please identify this moth
Location: Ballarat, Australia
April 26, 2016 12:50 am
Hi bugman,
This moth appeared in my house on 1st April 2016. It stayed for the day and then disappeared. Could you please tell me what is its name?
Thanks,
Signature: Eddie R

Satin Moth

Satin Moth

Dear Eddie,
Why did you wait nearly an entire month to submit your images?  It took us a bit of time to identify your Orange Trimmed Satin Moth,
Thalaina selenaea, though we did notice several similar members of the genus on Butterfly House.  Not until we found this FlickR posting were we convinced our ID was correct, and we verified its identity on ipernity.

Satin Moth

Satin Moth

Thank you so much Daniel! I tried searching the internet myself but couldn’t find this Orange Trimmed Satin Moth. It didn’t occur to me that there would be a website dedicated to identifying bugs until a few days ago.
I had never seen a moth like this before and it also just happened to appear on my 10th Wedding Anniversary so it made it extra special because the colours reminded me of my wife’s wedding dress.
Thanks again and I appreciate the rapid response!
Cheers,
Ed.

Hi again Ed.  Thanks for letting us know about the memories this Orange Trimmed Satin Moth triggered for you.

Subject: I have never seen one of these
Location: Virginia, USA.
April 26, 2016 7:07 am
Found near a creek in Virginia . Halifax county area. It is a couple of inches long. Has a stinger looking apparatus on its tail.
Signature: Matt

Damselfly Naiad

Damselfly Naiad

Dear Matt,
This aquatic nymph is an immature Damselfly, commonly called a Naiad like other aquatic nymphs of flying insects.  Damselflies are classified with Dragonflies in the same insect order, Odonata.  What you have mistaken for a stinger is actually a tripart organ, the gills, used to extract oxygen from the water.

Damselfly Naiad

Damselfly Naiad

Damselfly Naiad

Damselfly Naiad

Subject: Butterfly
Location: Jefferson County, Colorado
April 26, 2016 7:04 am
Hi,
On 26/April/2016 we were within the boundaries of Chatfield State Park, Jefferson County, Colorado and observed a brown butterfly with white edged wings several times in at least three locations in the Park. It was seldom still and we managed only one somewhat decent image of the butterfly (attached). We observed it from about 1:00 to 3:00 pm in grassy areas as well as near a stream. Unfortunately we did not get a clear image of it with its wings opened. Any help with identification would be appreciated. Location: Latitude: 39°32’45.92″N / Longitude: 105° 5’5.21″W
Signature: Ronal Kerbo

Mourning Cloak

Mourning Cloak

Dear Ronal,
Judging by the bedraggled appearance of its wings, this Mourning Cloak has just awakened from a long winter’s nap.  Mourning Cloaks, along with several other species of butterflies in the Brush-Footed Butterfly family Nymphalidae, hibernate, often in hollow trees and other sheltered nooks and crannies. They can sometimes be seen flying about on sunny days while there is still snow on the ground.  The female will lay her eggs on the budding leaves of willow, elm and a few other species of trees, and the caterpillars will grow quickly while feeding on the new leaves.  There is still a hint of beauty visible on your individuals wings.  The ventral surface of the wings, which is visible when the butterfly rests with its wings folded over its back, are mottled in color to help the Mourning Cloak blend in with bark and leaves, but the dorsal surface on a newly eclosed individual are a velvety warm black in color.  There is a scalloped cream colored edge on all the wings and a row of brilliant blue spots traverses the  length of the wings as well.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you for the prompt reply with the identification of our butterfly. We were quite surprised to see your message so soon after sending along our inquiry. As it turns out I now know we had photographed a “Mourning Cloak” within the Butterfly Pavilion set up on the grounds of the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield here in the Denver Colorado metro area. I should have done more research on my on and not bothered you and others at the whatsthatbug web site. We very much appreciate your response and it is good to know we have now photographed a Mourning Cloak in the wild.
Thanks again,
ronal

It was no trouble at all Ronal.  We love posting images of Mourning Cloaks.

Subject: What is this larve?
Location: Near Lyle, WA
April 25, 2016 6:38 pm
We found this along a trail in eastern Washington. It was as burrowing a hole in the dry dirt. I tickled its tail with a piece of grass and it turned around, half in and half out of the hole, as seen in the pic. About 3-4 inches long, as big around as my pinky finger.
Signature: Jerry

Pacific Green Sphinx Caterpillar

Pacific Green Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Jerry,
We are very excited to post your image of a Pacific Green Sphinx Caterpillar,
Arctonotus lucidus, which we identified on The Sphingidae of the Americas site.  Caterpillars of Sphinx Moths are usually easy to identify because they have a caudal horn, but some species lose the horn and only a caudal bump remains, and it is thought to afford some protection as it resembles an eye.  Though we have several images of adult Pacific Green Sphinx Moths on our site including this individual from Lyle, your caterpillar image is a first for us.  David Wikle is quoted on The Sphingidae of the Americas:  “and in the fifth [instar], the ‘eye of God’ is pasted on its arse and the horn is replaced by a raised area like Xylophanes or Eumorpha larvae.”  The larva is also pictured on BugGuide.  Since it was digging in the dirt, and it was quite large according to your description, we can deduce it was going underground in preparation for pupation.  We are going to copy Bill Oehlke as your image is so stunning, he may request permission to post it to his own site.