Currently viewing the category: "Moths"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: x bug
Location: Indonesia
February 17, 2017 3:59 am
hi, just recent weeks ago i found this strange bug. it’s very uncommon to have that kind of bug (which i don’t know what kind it is) in here.
i hope you can give me more information about this bug, because it scares people away.
thank you
Signature: x bug

Tiger Moth from Facebook

The moth in this image is a Tiger Moth, and the named file indicates it was lifted from Facebook.  Tiger Moths are harmless.  We have no idea what the X thing is, but it is not part of the moth, so this is either an internet hoax (the term we have long used for “fake news” on the internet) or an object merger similar to a photo showing a tree growing out of someone’s head.

We stand corrected.
Thanks to everyone who sent us corrections and links through our comments section.  We are going to contact Arctiid expert Julian Donahue to have him provide an explanation.

Arctiid Expert Julian Donahue provide some input.
Hi Daniel,
Not a humbug, but apparently the widespread Asian Creatonotos transiens displaying his coremata (androconia are specialized scent scales usually confined to the wings).
You can see images here:
and also if you Google the congeneric Creatonotos gangis you will see images of similar coremata.
The Mt. Washington weather station is still down (apparently since about January 3), so I can’t track how much rain you’re getting–except on the news. Hope the hill doesn’t wash away. Your storm is just now beginning to hit Tucson, but we’re only expecting 0.5 to 1 inch of rain.
Stay dry,

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Black moth
Location: Porto Alegre, Brazil
February 17, 2017 9:11 am
Hi! Do you know what moth is this? It is a black moth with some white (maybe not pure white) details, not bigger than 3cm, with red and yellow tiny “hairy” details. It was seen in Porto Alegre, Brazil during the morning. Thanks in advance! Picture attached. – Brenda Lavoieri
Signature: Brenda Lavoieri

Tiger Moth: Dysschema sacrifica

Dear Brenda,
This is a Tiger Moth in the subfamily Arctiinae, and we scoured the pages of Insetologia until we located this image of
Dysschema sacrifica that appears to be the same as your moth.  The species is also pictured on BioLib.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Attacus moth in Indonesia
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
February 9, 2017 8:42 pm
A friend found this moth in Indonesia and I wanted to know what kind of Attacus moth it is.
Signature: Matthew

Atlas Moth

Dear Matthew,
We believe this is the Atlas Moth,
Attacus atlas, but since there are other species and subspecies in the genus, we will check with Bill Oehlke.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Death’s-Head Hawkmoth in Dubai
Location: Dubai, UAE
February 6, 2017 6:47 am
Hi there!
We have a big black moth on our balcony in Dubai. It has been laying there for over a week. Every now and then it moves positions on our long balcony, but it doesn’t seem to want to leave.
We nudged it a couple of times with a broom and it is definitely alive as its wings opened up a little, but it quickly curled back and went back to rest.
After taking pictures on my camera and looking at images online, I came to the conclusion that it is the Death’s-Head Hawkmoth. But I am still unsure.
My question is, why is it absolutely still? It doesn’t move at all! At the moment, it is hiding most of its body under a pile of wood and has been there for 2-3 days. Is it hibernating or about to give birth? What is the best way to get rid of it? If it is pregnant, I am not very keen on having a bunch of caterpillars around, as I do have a massive phobia of insects!!
At the moment, the weather here ranges from 20-25 Celcius during the day to 15-20 Celcius at night.
Thanks for your help! 🙂
Signature: Anisha

Death’s Head Hawkmoth

Dear Anisha,
Though your image does not include the distinctive, namesake, skull-like markings on the thorax of this Death’s Head Hawkmoth, the markings on the wings and abdomen do indicate your identification is correct.  According to the BBC:  “Unlike other moths, death’s-head hawkmoths mostly eat honey, which is thick and gloopy compared to nectar. So Brehm thinks the moths modified their sucking action to allow the viscous honey to flow freely. … To get honey, death’s-head hawkmoths enter the hives of honeybees (
Apis mellifera).”  According to UK Safari:  “The larvae feed on potato plants, Buddleia and Deadly Nightshade (Atropa belladonna).”  Unless you have those plants on your balcony, you will not be seeing caterpillars.  After emergence from the pupa, the adult moth takes flight.  Flying takes a tremendous amount of energy and the moth must feed in order to be able to continue flying.  Perhaps this individual is waiting to attract a mate before taking flight again to lay eggs on the appropriate host plant.  If there is a light on your balcony, this moth might have been attracted to the light.  We do not provide extermination advice.

Hi Daniel!
Thanks so much for getting back to me!
Funny thing is, we do have a light on the balcony, but we almost never turn it on, it’s a really faint light thats pretty useless to us, so we don’t bother with it. However there is a floodlight on the facade of the building right next to our flat, that is sometimes turned on, so that might be what attracted it to us.
The only plants we have out there are cactus, some desert plants and one hibiscus.
I guess I’m wondering how long it will stay on our balcony, and if we were to take it to the edge, would it be able to fly?
I am constantly nervous going out there, so I’m trying to figure out a cruel free way of removing it! 🙂

Our personal experience with moths in the family is that they may remain a few days, but eventually, when they are ready, they fly off.  It you don’t use the balcony, just let nature take its course.


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Streak Sphinx in Puerto Rico
Location: Puerto Rico
January 31, 2017 3:11 pm
Just wanted to share a picture of a Streaked Sphinx moth hanging in our driveway here in the Eastern side of Puerto Rico
Signature: Raul

Streaked Sphinx

Hi Raul,
Thanks for sending in your image of a Streaked Sphinx,
Protambulyx strigilis.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth
Location: Wollongong NSW
January 29, 2017 9:17 pm
I took a few photos of this large moth today. It’s colour was mainly greys and olive drab. It was large and solid, motionless near ground level on the leaf in the photo. I would say from the top of the head to the bottom of the abdomen it would have been about 10cm with the wingspan being maybe 12cm. Is this an Australian Hawk Moth? I have seen photos identified that look similar to mine but there were orange colours underneath the wings and on the tip of the abdomen.
Signature: Philip Reuter

Australian Hawkmoth

Dear Philip,
It took us a bit of searching to identify your Australian Hawkmoth as
Coequosa australasiae.  Part of the reason it took so long is that the image posted to Butterfly House is quite different looking than your individual, and we eventually found a visual match on Csiro.  A very worn looking individual on A Roving I Will Go is the best color match to your individual.  The condition of your individual is so perfect we are guessing it has just emerged from the pupa and perhaps it has yet to take its first flight.  This species does have orange underwings that are hidden in your image. 

Dear Daniel,
Thankyou so much for confirming that! It was quite a magnificent specimen. Thankyou for your time.
Philip Reuter

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination