Subject: Melipotis indomita – Indomitable Melipotis Moth?
Geographic location of the bug: Northern tip of Big Island, Hawaii
Time: 08:03 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Aloha Daniel,
A couple of moth photos, different moths, different times, but similar location at the northern end of the Big Island, Hawaii. I think they’re male and female Melipotis indomita – Indomitable Melipotis Moth. BugGuide (https://bugguide.net/node/
How you want your letter signed: Graham
We are sorry for the delay. We wanted to more thoroughly research your very well prepared submission and we got busy. According to Pacific Northwest Moths (which pictures an individual from Maui): “It is sexually dimorphic. The male forewing ground color is somewhat variable, usually dark brownish gray with a blue gray terminal area. A prominent pale brownish white mark borders the oblique antemedial line and extends sligthly beyond the thin median line. The postmedial line balloons laterally near the black reniform spot and this portion of the line is also filled with brownish white. A black bar is present in the cell proximal to the reniform spot, and a small black spot is present at the apex. The hindwing is brownish off-white, with a broad dark gray marginal band that is interrupted by white near the cubital vein. The hindwing fringe is pure white with a black segment midway between the anterior margin and the anal angle. The female is similar but the base of the wing is gray followed by rusty brown. The head and thorax of both sexes are gray. The antenna is simple, ciliate in males. This rare migrant can be recognized by the sharply defined oblique mark with straight borders across the forewing in association with a black and brownish off-white hindwing.” BugGuide has images of male and female and they seem in agreement with your own identification but no Hawaii sightings are mentioned. Hawaiiscape does picture it and list it as a defoliator of Monkeypod trees.
No worries about any delay (I should be the one apologizing for being slow to respond here). I’m always appreciative of the work you do and thank you for the great amount of information on this moth. I’ll probably post at least some of this info on my blog (grahamsisland.com) if that’s OK with you – with a link to your site of course, though I’m not exactly overrun with followers.