Currently viewing the category: "Tiger Moths and Arctiids"
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May 22, 2010
This was outside my house last summer in Nova Scotia, Canada. Just curious to what exactly it is! Thanks! 🙂
Rachel
Nova Scotia, CanadaSome sort of flying insect

Virginia Ctenucha

Hi Rachel,
According to BugGuide, the Virginia Ctenucha, despite its name, is a Northern species.

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Identified-beautiful white and black moth
May 1, 2010
I submited this photo yesterday, but was able to futher research it myself. I discovered that it is (I believe) a Salt Marsh Moth. I am delighted to finally know what this beauty is called. However, I still prefer the name given to it by my daughter: The Dalmation Moth. Best Wishes,
Cassie Shaw
Cleveland, Mississippi

Salt Marsh Moth

Hi Cassie,
WE agree that you have correctly identified this Tiger Moth as a Salt Marsh Moth, Estigmene acrea, a species well represented on BugGuide.

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Interesting Costa Rican Wasp Moths – Part 3
Interesting Costa Rican Wasp Moths – Part 3
To round out my little set of Costa Rican Wasp Moths, here is a pair of Southern Cyan Tiger Moths (Macrocneme chrysitis). This is another day flying Ctenuchid (Arctiidae: Ctenuchinae) and an obvious wasp mimic. The species ranges throughout the tropical Americas, as for north as south Texas. These were also photographed at the Las Cruces Biological Station/Wilson Botanical Gardens. Regards.
Karl

Mating Southern Cyan Tiger Moths

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Interesting Costa Rican Wasp Moths – Part 2
April 13, 2010
The Ctenuchid moths (Arctiidae: Ctenuchinae, if you ignore recent taxonomic revisions) are often referred to as Wasp Moths for their tendency to mimic wasps. This mimicry is not always obvious, but it certainly is in the case of Isanthrene crabroniformis. In fact, this female had me completely fooled when a photographed it and it was not until I was reviewing my photos that evening that I realized it was actually a moth. This individual was one of several I spotted at the Las Cruces Biological Station/Wilson Botanical Gardens, Costa Rica. They were quite large, with an estimated wingspan of about 40-50 mm. The species does not appear to be well documented, not unusual for a tropical species, and the published range is given as Panama and Colombia. I suppose Costa Rica could be added to that list, and I suspect that its actual range may extend to other countries as well. Regards.
Karl

Isanthrene crabroniformis

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Interesting Costa Rican Wasp Moths
April 11, 2010
On our recent trip to Costa Rica we spent a few days at the Las Cruces Biological Station/Wilson Botanical Gardens, a magnificent preserve and research facility run by the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS). Part of my daily routine was to go night-lighting for bugs after dinner, a practice I would highly recommend to anyone who is interested in insects and isn’t too squeamish about tramping around in the dark. The station also provides a UV light screen for guests that are interested in viewing nocturnal insects, and this beautiful moth showed up one night on the underside of a nearby leaf. I am fairly certain the species is Histioea meldolae (Arctiidae: Ctenuchinae) and its startling appearance caught me a little off guard. Such brightly colored moths are usually diurnal (day fliers), the colors intended either for sexual communication or sending a warning to potential predators of toxicity or bad taste (aposematic coloration). This is indeed very common among Tiger Moths (Arctiidae) in general, including many Ctenuchid moths. Many Ctenuchids are also very good a mimicking menacing wasps, hence the common group name “Wasp Moths”. This one, however, didn’t look much like a wasp to me and appeared to be nocturnal, or perhaps crepuscular (dusk or dawn flier) which could explain the bright colors. It was also very difficult to identify and I eventually tracked it down by digging deeply into some very old scientific literature.  I could find no photos of this beautiful species on the internet, a fact that I took as further indication that it probably hides by day and is probably uncommon and/or very secretive. If anyone out there knows anything about this moth I would greatly appreciate a comment. Regards.
Karl

Wasp Moth: Histioea meldolae

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Moth/fly
February 24, 2010
Was seen in Goa India in January this year
GMT58
Central Goa, India

Wasp Moth: Euchromia polymena

Dear GMT58,
This is surely a gorgeous Wasp Moth, one of the Arctiid Moths in, we suspect, the Tribe Euchromiini.  We quickly found a matching photograph on the India Nature Watch website, and they are identified as Day Flying Moths, Euchromia elegantissima, with a link to the Moths of Borneo website.  The Cambodian Bugs website also has some photos of this elegant beauty.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks ever so much for your help,
regards,
Tony

Correction:  January 23, 2014
We just received a comment indicating that this is actually a different species in the same genus: 
Euchromia polymena.  We located a photo on the TrekNature that supports that comment.

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