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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Costa Rican Butterflies
June 22, 2010
Dear Bugman,
I recently went on an educational trip to Costa Rica. While there, I saw many different species of butterflies but, now that i’m home, i haven’t been able to figure out the species or even what type of butterflies i had seen. This is a major issue considering the fact that i now must do a project on the different invertebrates i saw while there! The first one was spotted in my shower at a hotel in Arenal. It was hanging from the ceiling and the tear drop shaped “tails” were slightly metalic. I would estimate that it was around 3-4 inches across. The second, was spotted in Tortuguero. it was very small, only about 1.5 inches across and flew rather quickly. And the third we saw in a Butterfly garden. There were several that kept landing on us and they were about… 2 inches across. Thanks so much for your help!
Amanda K.
Costa Rica (Arenal, Tortuguero)

Eyetail Moth

Hi Amanda,
We have a bit of an ethical problem doing too many identifications for your project, but we will assist with your first image.  Nothus lunus, the Eyetail Moth in the family Sematuridae, is frequently mistaken for a butterfly.  We posted a photo of a male Eyetail Moth from Costa Rica last October, and your specimen is a female.  The female is characterized by the white stripes on her wings.  The excellent Hétérocères de Guyane Française website has a great comparison image of the male and female Eyetail Moth.

WOW great thanks so much! that litterally has been keeping me up at night because it was a beautiful moth! 🙂 and i totally understand the whole ethics thing! 😉 these were just the ones i was confused on and even this one ID will really make me feel better about the project! thanks again for the help!

Actually Amanda, we also identified and posted your photo of a Cattleheart Butterfly in the genus Paredes.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

October 6, 2009
Hi Bugman,
Have had a lot of this kind of (butterfly?) this year.  Always shows up at night in either the house or the barn.  Can you identify it?
Thank you,
Costa Rica

Day Flying Moth, we believe

Nothus lunus

Hi Jordan,
Though it looks like a Swallowtail Butterfly, WE actually believe this is a diurnal moth and not a butterfly, but we haven’t had any luck with its identification.  It reminds us of the Sunset Moth, Urania fulgens.

Update from Julian Donahue
This is a moth in the Neotropical family Sematuridae (one species makes it, rarely, into Arizona). This particular moth goes by a number of names, and a revision of the genus is clearly needed. It is most likely Nothus (= Sematura) lunus (or aegisthus?), which occurs from Mexico to Brazil. There are anywhere from four to 11 recognized species in the genus, which also occurs in the West Indies.

Update from Karl
Hi Daniel:
This is indeed a moth, Sematura luna (=lunus?), and it looks like it is probably a male (females have a white band down the middle of both wings). The taxonomy is a little confusing as I had trouble determining if luna = lunus, or if they are closely related species or subspecies. My favourite Costa Rican reference (Mariposas de Costa Rica) uses S. luna, South American references seem to use S. lunus. It belongs to the relatively small and poorly understood family Sematuridae (subfamily Sematuerinae), which has approximately 40, mostly neotropical species. They belong to the superfamily Geometroidea, along with the Uraniidae and Geometridae families. Although they resemble the large diurnal Uraniid moths, most Sematurids are nocturnal, Sematura sp. included. They are sometimes called Eyetails, for obvious reasons. Regards.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination