American Snout: All You Need to Know in a Quick Guide

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The American Snout butterfly, scientifically known as Libytheana carinenta, is a small yet fascinating creature. Their distinct elongated labial palps (mouthparts) are reminiscent of a pronounced snout, hence the common name.

They exhibit unique patterns on their wings. The dorsal wing pattern showcases a vibrant orange hue with wide dark borders and white spots.

When the wings are viewed from below, a mottled brown and violet pattern appears on perched specimens 1.

These captivating butterflies are not only known for their appearance but also for their migratory behaviors. In certain years, substantial population increases may result in large swarms traversing the region 2.

American Snout Overview

Scientific Name: Libytheana Carinenta

Family: Nymphalidae

Belonging to the family Nymphalidae, the American Snout is just one of many unique butterflies in this group.

Size and Description

  • Wingspan: 1¼ – 2 inches (3.5 – 5 cm)
  • Color: Brown, orange, and white spots on the upper side; mottled or smooth violet-gray underside

Easily recognizable, the American Snout has elongated labial palps, forming a prominent snout.

Distribution: North America and Mexico

The American Snout can be spotted throughout North America and Mexico. In certain regions, this butterfly makes its appearance only during the summer months.

Appearance and Physical Features

Wings and Coloration

The American Snout butterfly has unique wings with specific characteristics:

  • Wingspan: 1¼ – 2 inches (3.5 – 5 cm)
  • Elongated forewings with squared-off wingtips
  • Brown upperside
  • Forewings: Orange base and inner margin, white spots on the outer half
  • Hindwing underside: Mottled or smooth violet-gray

Antennae and Labial Palps

The American Snout also has distinct antennae and labial palps:

  • Thin antennae with tiny clubs at their ends
  • Long and extended forward palps, which form the characteristic “snout”

Dorsal Wing Pattern and Borders

The dorsal side of the American Snout features a unique wing pattern as well:

  • Orange background color
  • Wide dark borders with white spots
  • Mottled brown and violet-gray wing edges when seen from below on perched butterflies

The American Snout is easy to identify due to its distinctive appearance, helped by these specific features.

Life Cycle and Development


The American Snout butterfly’s life cycle begins with their caterpillars. These caterpillars have a dark green color and are adorned with yellow stripes, running lengthwise. They also possess various distinctive features such as:

  • A raised thorax area, where tubercles and horns sprout.
  • As they grow older, their tubercles become black and more prominent.

These caterpillars mainly feed on hackberry trees, which serve as their primary food source during this stage of development.


Once the caterpillars have finished feeding and growing, they enter the pupal stage. The pupae are well-camouflaged, resembling a dead leaf or the petiole of a leaf. They typically exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Brown coloration with hints of green
  • Textured surface for better camouflage
  • H3-shaped structure, allowing them to blend in easily with the environment

The pupae stage serves as the transitional phase, preparing the caterpillar to transform into an adult butterfly.

Adult Butterflies

After the pupal stage, the American Snout butterflies emerge as adults, featuring:

  • Elongated forewings with squared-off wingtips
  • Dorsal wing patterns in orange with wide dark borders and white spots
  • Long, snout-like noses, due to the greatly elongated labial palps

These adult butterflies are relatively small and dull-colored compared to other butterfly species.

American Snout butterflies go through a complete life cycle, transforming from caterpillars to pupae and eventually emerging as adult butterflies.

Throughout this process, their physical appearance and habits change significantly, allowing them to adapt and thrive in their environments.

Habitat and Distribution

Hackberry Trees as Food Plants

The American Snout (Libytheana carinenta) is a unique butterfly with an elongated snout-like mouthpart. It mainly feeds on specific plants – the Hackberry trees of the Celtis species. Some examples include:

  • Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata)
  • Common Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

These trees provide a vital source of food for snout larvae, and consequently, the butterflies are often found in areas with abundant Hackberry trees.

Regional Distribution: Texas, Ozarks, Missouri

  • Texas: The American Snout is a common summer resident in South Texas. In this region, the butterfly primarily feeds on Celtis species found in the area, such as Celtis laevigata and Celtis pallida.

  • Ozarks: The Ozark region, spread across Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, also hosts the American Snout butterfly. The butterfly thrives in diverse woodland habitats and can easily locate Hackberry trees.

  • Missouri: In Missouri, the American Snout is widespread during the summer months. Thanks to a variety of Celtis species like Celtis occidentalis and Celtis reticulata, this region provides a suitable habitat for the butterfly.

Comparison of Distribution in Texas, Ozarks, and Missouri:

RegionAmerican Snout PresenceCommon Hackberry Trees
TexasSummer ResidentCeltis laevigata, Celtis pallida
OzarksWidespreadCeltis occidentalis
MissouriSummer ResidentCeltis occidentalis, Celtis reticulata

In summary, the American Snout butterfly can be found in Texas, the Ozarks, and Missouri, where they rely on Hackberry trees for food and survival.

The presence of various Celtis species in these regions largely influences the distribution and habitation of this unique butterfly.

Behavior and Migration

Migratory Patterns

The American Snout is known for its fascinating migratory patterns. These butterflies are occasionally seen in mass migrations, forming groups that can stretch for miles.

The American Snout butterfly has one of the longest migration routes. Its migration is called a “chain migration”.

This means that the American Snout butterflies originating from the northern parts usually settle in Mexico for the winter only after the ones born in the southern parts migrate further south.

Key migratory features:

  • Occasional mass migrations
  • Group formations

Seasonal Changes: June

In June, American Snout butterflies are typically more active and are often seen in wooded areas near streams or rivers. This is a prime time for observing these unique butterflies.

Heavy Summer Rains

Heavy summer rains can trigger another shift in American Snout behavior. After a downpour, these butterflies are known to congregate in large numbers around damp, muddy areas, making the most of the temporarily available nutrients.

To summarize, the American Snout butterfly is an interesting species that exhibit unique migratory and seasonal behavior patterns. Keep an eye out for them during the summer months, especially in June and after heavy rains!

Predators and Threats

Common Predators

The American Snout employs natural camouflage to avoid predators. Caterpillars rest on the midribs of leaves, blending in with their surroundings, and adults perch on branches with wings folded, revealing only their drab gray colors1.

Economic Importance

The American Snout has no significant economic importance2. As a species of butterfly, it contributes to the ecosystem by aiding in plant pollination but does not have a direct impact on human economies.

Fun Facts and Additional Information

The American Snout (Libytheana carinenta) is a unique butterfly species. Here are a few fun facts and details about this intriguing creature:

Unlike butterflies, moths are typically active at night, and their wings are held flat when at rest. However, both butterflies and moths along with skippers are classified under the order Lepidoptera.

Final Thoughts

Both a scientific study and observation by naturalists contribute to our understanding of these living jewels, but some information may not be entirely accurate.

To learn more about the American Snout and our diverse natural world, it’s recommended to consult professional advice from a local extension office, university, or an entomology expert.

Remember that understanding and appreciating the intricate details of the American Snout and other scale-winged insects can enhance our perception of the world around us.


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Readers’ Mail

Over the years, has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these moths. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar from Australia

Subject: Big boy caterpillar
Location: Albany, Western Australia
January 11, 2016 6:05 am
Hi bug man!
Just found this beauty romping around in my Spanish moss and no one can figure out what it is!
What is he?!?!
Signature: Curious caterpillar carer

Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar
Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar

Dear Curious Caterpillar Carer,
Your caterpillar has two fleshy, forward-facing horns that should make identification somewhat easy. 

We believe we have correctly identified your caterpillar as Entometa fervens, the Common Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar, thanks to the Butterfly House website where it is described as: 

“The caterpillar has a prominent projection on the back near the posterior end, and a pair of fleshy filaments behind the head. It is solitary, and feeds at night on a variety of Gum Trees” , but we would not discount it being another member of the genus. 

The Spotted Gum Moth caterpillar, Entometa guttularis, is described on Butterfly House as being: 

“The Caterpillars of this species are brown. sometimes mottled, and sometimes plain brown. The caterpillars have a pair of erectable fleshy howns behind the head, and a floppy knob on the tail. The caterpillars have been recorded feeding on the foliage of of various members of Myrtaceae.” 

It is described on iNaturalist as being:  “a large fleshy Caterpillar with soft downy hairs. The caterpillar has a prominent projection on the back near the posterior end, and a pair of fleshy filaments behind the head.”

Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar


Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar

Hi Daniel,
Thanks very much for taking the time to reply to my msg,
He must have been very happy indeed in my air plant because now I’ve got a cocoon
How exciting!
Cheers mate

Yeah no worries, hopefully I’ll catch him hatching that’d be great!

Letter 2 – Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar from Australia

Subject: what is this other than a giant scary horned caterpillar
Location: Perth Western Australia
April 24, 2014 3:31 am
Hi! Hoping you can help me out. Saw this creature/monster crawling across my lawn late this afternoon. Its the second one we’ve seen and we’re really curious as to what it will be!

It was about 3 inches long (maybe slightly more) and slightly furry looking. Almost like felt. The pics make it look purple but it was more of a beige colour with a bit of red/tan. And those horns!!! Any ideas?

Signature: Nicole

Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar


Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar

Hi Nicole,
We struggled a bit on this identification, but we eventually found some images of your Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar,
Entometa fervens, on the Butterfly House website where it states: 

“This is a large fleshy Caterpillar with soft downy hairs. It is sometimes smooth, sometimes rough, sometimes brown, and sometimes mottled with cream and grey.

The variable nature of the caterpillars suggests that the name Entometa fervens is being applied to a complex of several species. More investigation is needed to clarify this. 

The caterpillar has a prominent projection on the back near the posterior end, and a pair of fleshy filaments behind the head. It is solitary, and feeds at night on a variety of Gum Trees.” 

The image on the Queensland Museum site through us off as it looks so different from your images.  It is also pictured on the Brisbane Insect website.

Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar


Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar

Hi Daniel
Thanks very much for taking the time to identify this. Not knowing was killing me J
I have never heard of one of those and have never ever seen anything like this beauty before.
Thanks again for the wonderfully prompt service.
Kindest regards
Nicole J

Letter 3 – American Snout

Subject: Snout Butterfly – Libytheana bachmanii
Location: North Central Florida
September 20, 2012 12:22 am
I was absolutely thrilled to find this butterfly in my yard today, I believe it to be a Snout Butterfly – Libytheana bachmanii.

I am in North Central Florida and have a large number of wild Spanish Needles along my fenceline and saw him there so thought I’d share him with you guys.
Signature: Jenifer


American Snout

Hi Jenifer,
Your photographs of this American Snout are stunning.  We can well imagine that you also tried to get a view with the open wings and we know how difficult it can be to get butterflies to cooperate for photographs. 

In preparing for this post by linking to BugGuide, we learned that the scientific binomial name has two synonyms, the one in your request as well as the more typically accepted Libytheana carinenta. 

We also learned on BugGuide that:  “Snouts are frequently placed in their own family, Libytheidae, as the larvae lack the spines and horns of most Nymphalidae and the pupae lack the dorsal bumps of most Nymphalinae.”


American Snout

Letter 4 – American Snout

Tortoiseshell Butterfly?
Location: Buchanan, TN (36 deg. 24’56.85”N latitude; 88 deg. 12’27.63”W longitude)
July 17, 2011 9:12 pm
This butterfly was in my garden on a pea vine – pea bud is visible in the picture (there are very few blooms at this time) – at 11:47 a.m. on July 15, 2011. It was very windy and I had to take several pictures before I got a clear one.

But in all that time, the butterfly never opened its wings, so I have no picture from the top.

I had thought by the ”angled wing” shape that it might be a comma or question mark, but the silver crescent is DEFINITELY not there, it is much smaller, and the wings are not deeply scalloped enough.

So I thought maybe some kind of tortoiseshell, though I am NOT sure about that at all either. Would appreciate any help you can give.
Signature: Mary Ann Claxton


American Snout

Hi Mary Ann,
The dead leaf mimicry of the Anglewing Butterflies including the Tortoiseshell, is similar to your butterfly, but the “nose”  of your butterfly is quite distinctly different. 

You have photographed an American Snout, Libytheana carinenta, which you can compare to this image on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide

“Snouts are frequently placed in their own family, Libytheidae, as the larvae lack the spines and horns of most Nymphalidae and the pupae lack the dorsal bumps of most Nymphalinae.” 

BugGuide also has this remark:  “Raymond Neck (1983) was the first to note that snout population size is positively correlated with the intensity and duration of dry periods immediately preceding drought-terminating rains. Larry Gilbert (1985) conducted the most intensive study yet of snout population explosions in south Texas.”

Letter 5 – American Snout

Subject: Possibly an American Snout Butterfly
Location: Coryell County, central Texas
January 21, 2013 1:22 am
Hello, many butterflies were visiting these plants’ tiny white flowers in the dry creek bed behind our house today.

So far no luck identifying the plants; we had a glorious three inches of rain last week, and now with some warm afternoons the wildflowers are trying to get a head start on spring. I think this butterfly might be an American Snout.

Thanks for any information!
Signature: Ellen


American Snout

Hi Ellen,
Your identification of the American Snout,
Libytheana carinenta, is correct.  According to Jeffrey Glassberg in his marvelous book Butterflies Through Binoculars The West: 

“Sometimes swarming in the millions (in the Rio Grande Valley), this is the chameleon of the butterfly world.  When you are searching for a special butterfly, American Snouts will magically assume the appearance of that butterfly, or perhaps it’s vice versa.” 

We want to commend you on getting a photo with a partial view of the dorsal wing surface.  We know how uncooperative some butterflies can be when there is a camera involved.


American Snout

Letter 6 – American Snout Butterfly

Subject: First-Ever American Snout Butterfly
Location: Belle Isle, MI
July 8, 2012 8:05 pm
Hello Bugman: Had to share today’s photos of an American Snout Butterfly. NEVER saw one before, but recognized it from our butterfly field guidebook.

My son found this ”weird looking” butterfly in a flower garden and asked me to take a look at it. Luckily, I had my camera with me and was able to get several nice shots before it fluttered away.

I read that they migrate up from TX when their numbers get large. It’s been incredibly hot(and ”Texas-like”) in MI lately too. Maybe that explains why in 22 years, I’ve never seen a Snout here before.
Signature: Chris O.


American Snout

Dear Chris,
Your first sighting of an American Snout and the good fortune of having a camera is to our advantage as well. 

Your photos are wonderful and they show the shape and coloration of this distinctive butterfly much better than the only other example we have in our archives of an American Snout, Libytheana carinenta. 

According to BugGuide, it is the “Only snout butterfly that occurs regularly north of Mexico ” which makes it unmistakable.


American Snout

Letter 7 – American Snout Butterfly Migration

Subject: Butterfly Invasion
Location: Coryell County, TX
September 15, 2016 7:21 pm
Hello! We’re being invaded by small, fast butterflies in the hundreds, thousands, maybe millions. I think they’re American snout butterflies (“snout-nosed”). You kindly identified one for me a few years ago.

I haven’t seen so many butterflies at one time since 1961, when clouds of monarchs in Illinois fled south ahead of a drastic cold front.

These have made the news!
Please excuse the poor photography.

They sometimes stop to puddle or rest but aren’t visiting our flowers. The American snouts in our area are all heading toward the E/NE, most are battered and worn. Quite sad, actually.

I saw one monarch today, but it was heading south.
Butterfly mania. Best wishes, love your site.
Signature: Ellen

American Snout


American Snout

Good Morning Ellen,
These are indeed American Snouts, and when we posted your previous images in 2013, we quoted Butterflies Through Binoculars:  The West by Jeffrey Glassberg who wrote: 

“Sometimes swarming in the millions (in the Rio Grande Valley), this is the chameleon of the butterfly world.  When you are searching for a special butterfly, American Snouts will magically assume the appearance of that butterfly, or perhaps it’s vice versa.”


American Snout


American Snout

Letter 8 – Cloudless Sulphur and American Snouts

Hi bugman,
I looked for these butterflies on your site, but couldn’t find them; one seems to look like a sulfur butterfly, but, it is all-yellow and doesn’t have the spots that the one on your site has.

And about the other picture with the two small camouflaged butterflies, let me tell you that right now there is an invasion of epic proportions of this species of butterfly here in northern Mexico (Piedras Negras to be exact).

I can’t drive without seeing thousands of butterflies of this same species floating all over the street. In my home garden alone there are like two thousand of these (and it is a relatively small garden).

If it isn’t too much trouble I would love it if you could tell me more about this butterfly species, I’ve lived here for 17 years and had never seen so many butterflies in my life! Thanks,

Cloudless Sulphur American Snouts

Hola Humberto,
Your Cloudless Sulphur, Phoebis sennae, is gorgeous. It is one of the least clouded we have ever seen. The male, like yours, is a clear yellow while the female has markings.

The other butterflies are American Snouts, Libytheana carinenta. Our Butterflies through Binoculars, the West book claims: “Sometimes swarming in the millions (in the Rio Grande Valley), this is the chameleon of the butterfly world.”

Update:  November 6, 2011
Possible Incorrect ID
November 6, 2011 6:36 pm

I believe the sulfur butterfly in this photograph is Orange-barred, not Cloudless Sulphur.  As always, I find your site a most wonderful way to spend a relaxing hour or two.
Signature: Edith Smith

Hi Edith,
Thanks so much for submitting your comments.  We are happy to hear that you have such a high opinion of our website. 

We are linking to your Butterfly Fun Facts website and featuring this letter after many years in our efforts to promote habitat for native butterflies.

ED. Note:  November 6, 2011
Jeffrey Glassberg in Butterflies Through Binoculars, the West writes of the American Snout:  “”Sometimes swarming in the millions (in the Rio Grade Valley), this is the chameleon of the butterfly world. 

When you are searching for a special butterfly, American Souts will magically assume the appearance of that butterfly, or perhaps it’s vice versa. 

Butterflies as varied as Chisos Banded Skippers, Red Satyrs, and a large hairstreak with a silvery reflection, have all turned into American Snouts right before my eyes1  A Rorschach test for butterflies.” 

Letter 9 – Crambid Snout Moth from South Africa

Subject:  Moth type
Geographic location of the bug:  South Africa
Date: 01/23/2018
Time: 03:48 PM ED
Your letter to the Bugman:  Please help me to identify this moth. Have never seing something like it.
How you want your letter signed:  Email


Crambid Snout Moth

Your moth looks so similar to a North American Erythrina Borer that we surmised it must be related, and when we did a search on the genus, we found Terastia subjectalis on African Moths and we found Terastia africana on African Moths as well. 

The latter species is reported from “Cameroon, DRCongo, Gambia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe.”


Crambid Snout Moth

Letter 10 – Crambid Snout Moth: Stemorrhages costata

Subject: pearly looking moth
Location: Raleigh, NC
July 31, 2014 2:40 pm
Dear Bugman,
Thank you for helping me before.
I took this picture 7-27-2014 in Raleigh, NC.
It was near a Tuliptree Beauty Moth and maybe about a third of the size.
Signature: aubrey

Crambid Snout Moth:  Stemorrhages costata


Crambid Snout Moth: Stemorrhages costata

Hi Aubrey,
We needed to do quite a bit of searching to identify this Crambid Snout Moth,
Stemorrhages costata, and we first found it documented on the Moth Photographers Group website where it is reported from Texas and Florida. 

We cross-checked it on BugGuide where we missed it in our initial attempts at an identification.  BugGuide also lists it as being in Florida and Texas, and indicates:  “Apparently an accidental introduction from Old World tropics.”

Thank you, Daniel.
I am very excited about this ID.
How can I help you with funding?

That is kind of you to ask Aubrey.  We have a donation button at the top of our website.

Letter 11 – Possibly Crambid Snout Moth from Peru

Subject: New Insect?
Location: Lima, Perú
August 10, 2016 1:10 pm
Hi I’m Luis Calle from Perú. I just came to Lima and before entering to my house I saw this little insect. I don’t know if it flies. Should I catch it? I have never seen this one before.

I think it has 6 legs and 2 of them are in the front. It’s 2cm long , maybe 3cm. I forgot to mention that it has a sting like a scorpion, pointing to its body. Contact me if is needed.
Signature: Luis C.

Possibly Crambid Snout Moth


Possibly Crambid Snout Moth

Dear Luis,
First we need to state that identifying insects from countries that do not have extensive web databases of creatures can be very difficult, and Peru is one such country. 

Our first thought upon viewing the dorsal view you provided was that this might be a Fly in the order Diptera (only two wings visible in the image), possibly a Stilt Legged Fly in the family Neriidae, but once we opened the lateral view (thanks so much for including these two valuable views) we realized we were looking at a moth in the order Lepidoptera. 

Our search for similar looking moths led us to BugGuide where we found the Eggplant Leafroller Moth, and though BugGuide indicates its range is “southern United States (Florida to California), south to Chile; …”

we are quite confident your images represent a different species, but there is enough visual similarity for us to surmise they may be in the same family, the Crambid Snout Moth family Crambidae. 

We tried briefly searching that possibility to no avail, including scanning Insetologia from nearby Brazil.  This Jade Scorpion Moth from Peru on Learn About Butterflies has a similar posture, but it is obviously a different species, and it is identified as being in the family Pyralidae, which is taxonomically included with the family Crambidae in the superfamily Pyraloidea. 

Our time right now is running short, so we are posting your images and tagging it as unidentified, but classifying it as a Snout Moth, and perhaps one of our readers will write in with some suggestions.

Possibly Crambid Snout Moth


Possibly Crambid Snout Moth

Hi Daniel,
I have posted the moth i found on 4chan. It has some images that may help you.

Letter 12 – Snout Moth

Please help
I photographed this species today but cannot find out its name. It is the biggest species I’ve ever come across in the Crambidae family – the wingspan measures about 35 mm. Your help in identifying this species is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Toronto, Ontario

Hi John,
You really need an expert in Snout Moths for this one. Sorry. We will post the image and see if anyone writes in.

Letter 13 – Snout Moth: Desmia funeralis

Subject: What this moth or butterfly?
Location: eastern ontario
July 26, 2012 7:27 am
I did find this moth or butterfly and this is pretty neat I did check out your site and you might don’t have this picture or name of the moth so you can share this picture with others.
I just want to know this name, please.
Signature: M.O


Desmia funeralis

Dear M.O.,
At first we thought this was an Eight Spotted Forrester, but we quickly realized that it is a different species.  In our estimate, this is a Crambid Snout Moth,
Desmia funeralis, a species that lacks a common name.  According to BugGuide

“Also note resemblance to Forester moths (Owlet Moth family [Noctuidae], genus Alypia). This is probably a mimicry complex, since these moths and the Foresters are day-flying. Perhaps they both are mimics of a wasp?” 

Brightly colored diurnal moths are frequently confused with butterflies.  This is a new species for our website. 

Letter 14 – Crambid Snout Moth from Southern California

Subject: Mystery Moth
Location: Southern California
July 21, 2017, 7:24 pm
Do you know the name of this moth? It was hanging on my house today, July 21. It is under 1″ in length. It looks like it should be on a tree.
Signature: Terry


Unknown Snout MOth

Dear Terry,
We are pretty confident this is a Snout Moth in the superfamily Pyraloidea, but we have not had any luck securing an identification on either BugGuide or the Moth Photographers Group.  Perhaps one of our readers will have more luck than we have had.

Thanks so much, Daniel. There’s a great website for its natural history in orange county California that UC Irvine sponsors and that’s my usual go-to.
But this moth was not on that site and was so distinct with those green eyes and that beautiful wood bark finish that I thought for sure someone is able to ID it.

I am going to post it on my Instagram page and see if any of the avid insect people there can come up with an ID. If they do, I will get back to you.

Hi Terry,
We also checked that site and as you observed, there is no similar-looking moth.

Karl identifies Crambid Snout Moth
Hello Daniel and Terry:
This is a Crambid Snout Moth, probably a White-trimmed Abegesta (Crambidae: Glaphyriinae: Abegesta repellants); aka White-trimmed Brown Pyralid. It could also be another moth in the same genus, A. reluctalis.

I can’t really tell the difference between them and both are found in Southern California. Regards, Karl

Thanks, Karl,
The genus is also represented on BugGuide.

Letter 15 – Unknown Snout Moth

Subject: Unknown moth
Location: Gilbert, Arizona, USA
April 4, 2017, 5:59 pm
I found this moth in Gilbert Arizona today. It was out and about in bright daylight. The moth was about the size of an American penny.

Signature: Paul


Snout Moth

Dear Paul,
We are relatively confident that this is a Snout Moth in the superfamily Pyraloidea, but alas, we have poured through both BugGuide and the Moth Photographers Group to no avail.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck than we have had.


  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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14 Comments. Leave new

  • The yellow butterfly looks more like an Orange-barred Sulphur rather than a Cloudless Sulphur. It’s hard to tell the difference, sometimes!

    Desmia funeralis

    We saw one of these recently (mid July) in Raleigh. NC

  • Bugman and Jim,
    I had an email from Jim asking about starting a blog.
    I do have a blog, but I am not sure if he is asking about
    the link I sent pointing to the university of Florida website that
    gives the common name of grape leaffolder moth to
    Desmia funeralis. I’d be happy to share what I know about
    my own blog which is at
    I do have some moths and butterflies posted there, but a lot of
    baby bird development pictures (for grandsons mostly).

    • Hi Aubrey,
      This is the Bugman. Beware of comments about starting a blog. In our experience, those are spam and we delete them without responding. There are predators of many kinds on the internet.

  • Perhaps it is in the witness protection rogram & that is why we are having trouble identifying it.

  • Great to have this caterpillar identified – have never seen one before in spite of living on a farm in SW Western Australia most of my life. He is a very cute little guy

  • Reply
  • Hola, tengo vistos varias especies de este tipo de polilla en forma de trípode en Trujillo, el de la foto y alguna otra de 1 cm.
    Yo también estoy buscando saber que tipo de mariposa es y la especie.
    Visitar mi instagram @entomologiaperu. Gracias

  • Hola, tengo vistos varias especies de este tipo de polilla en forma de trípode en Trujillo, el de la foto y alguna otra de 1 cm.
    Yo también estoy buscando saber que tipo de mariposa es y la especie.
    Visitar mi instagram @entomologiaperu. Gracias

  • Después de ver los parecidos con las familias expuestas en el comentario anterior, creo que la foto se refiere a una familia en la que los géneros tienen una forma parecida, en trípode, así como sucede con las familias de polillas pluma, donde todos sus géneros son parecidos y claramente distinguibles, de todas formas me queda el recurso de un experto en lepidopteros peruano que seguro sabrá cual es.
    Existe un comentario sobre él en mi instagram @entomologiaperu acerca de otra foto de mariposa.

  • Después de ver los parecidos con las familias expuestas en el comentario anterior, creo que la foto se refiere a una familia en la que los géneros tienen una forma parecida, en trípode, así como sucede con las familias de polillas pluma, donde todos sus géneros son parecidos y claramente distinguibles, de todas formas me queda el recurso de un experto en lepidopteros peruano que seguro sabrá cual es.
    Existe un comentario sobre él en mi instagram @entomologiaperu acerca de otra foto de mariposa.


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