Currently viewing the category: "Geometrid Moths"
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Emerald
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
February 18, 2016 10:50 PM
Upon arriving home from work tonight, this gorgeous green Emerald, possibly Nemoria leptalea which is pictured on BugGuide, was waiting on the front door.  According to BugGuide “Larva can be found on buckwheat” and we have three Buckwheat plants in the garden.

Emerald, possibly Nemoria leptalea

Emerald, possibly Nemoria leptalea

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Sent Via Personal Email
Subject:  Moth on Door on Avenue 44
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
February 9, 2016 8:27 AM
hi, can you tell us the species, please?
and this one, from yesterday?
what happens if the porch light has attracted them and they stay all night…
will they die because they have not flown – or eaten?
c.

Geometrid Moth

Geometrid Moth

Dear Clare,
We believe both of your moths are in the family Geometridae and there are so many similar looking individuals in the family that we often have difficulty with species identifications.  The one with the elongated wings might be a Pug in the genus
Eupithecia based on this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Numbers By far the largest moth genus with over 1400 species worldwide. About 160 Eupithecia species are found in America north of Mexico.  62 species in Canada (CBIF). Several species are Holarctic.  Identification Many Eupithecia species require dissection for identification and there are many undescribed species.  Adults at rest often hold their long forewings (with hindwings hidden beneath) at right-angles to the body, giving a distinctive “soaring hawk” appearance.  Food Larvae feed mostly on Asteraceae and also other plant families.”  We would not eliminate that it might be Glaucina erroraria which is pictured on iNaturalist though according to BugGuide:  “Dissection often needed for this group.”

Pug

Pug

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Subject: Weird gray bug and its eggs
Location: Gastonia, NC
January 16, 2016 12:37 pm
I’ve been finding these strange gray bugs on the exterior of my hard-coat stucco home. They’re easy to kill/knock off and don’t seem to fly, but they’re super annoying because they keep coming back and laying these hard egg things (which I also destroy).
Signature: BB

Flightless Female Moth lays eggs

Flightless Female Moth lays eggs

Dear BB,
This is a flightless female moth in the family Geometridae, and there are several genera in the family with flightless females.  Our first thought is this might be a Winter Moth,
Operophtera brumata, and though it looks similar to this BugGuide image, BugGuide does not report them as far south as North Carolina.  Another possibility is the Woolly Gray, Lycia ypsilon, and it is found in nearby South Carolina according to BugGuide, but there are no images of the female or the eggs there. The closest visual match to your moth we can find is the female Fall Cankerworm Moth, Alsophila pometaria, and according to BugGuide they are active “Fall through early winter”  but the eggs pictured on BugGuide look very different from your eggs.  Pest Control Canada has an image identified as the Fall Cankerworm, but again, the eggs of that species look different.  So, while we are confident this is a flightless, female Geometrid Moth, we cannot identify the species for certain.  The Moth Photographers Group has a nice page devoted to flightless female moths.

Hi Daniel:
Thanks so much for your response! I’m glad they’re just moths.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: White-barred Emerald Moth
Location: Mexico
January 9, 2016 2:40 am
I think this may be a White-barred Emerald Moth (Nemoria bifilata)? or relative.Found in San Sebastian 3/12/15.
Signature: Graeme Davis

Emerald

Emerald

Hi Graeme,
This is an Emerald in the subfamily Geomertinae, but there are many North American species that look quite similar and we suspect those species are also found in Mexico, so we cannot say for certain that this is a White-Barred Emerald.  In addition, there may be more species found in Mexico that do not range across the U.S. border.  BugGuide has many images of many similar looking species.  We rarely attempt a definite species ID with this subfamily.

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Subject: Salta Moths
Location: Salta, Argentina
December 15, 2015 10:26 am
Brown banded moth.
Signature: JC

Moth

Moth

Hi again Julio,
We are guessing that this might be a moth in the family Geometridae.

Daniel,
Thank you. I will send you another one now. A more colourful one so that your readership enjoys it!!! Good w-e. Regards. JC

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Subject: Wingless moth..?
Location: Massachusetts
November 27, 2015 7:13 am
I found these 2 moths seemingly mating on top of my shoe last night !! I always call these “winter moths” since they come out in December but I would like more information on maybe why this ones wings are gone? Is one sex flightless? Or did something happen to it? – sorry about the photo quality, my camera would not focus on them.
Signature: Ali

Mating Fall Cankerworm Moths

Mating Fall Cankerworm Moths

Dear Ali,
It is unfortunate that the point of focus is your shoelace, and not the moths, but we believe these are mating Winter Moths,
Operophtera brumata, an introduced species with wingless females and winged males, and the males resemble the individual in your image based on this BugGuide image.  The general appearance of the moths, the time of the sighting and your location are all consistent with what we know about Winter Moths.  According to BugGuide:  “Native to Europe, introduced to Northeast and Pacific Northwest, pest species in areas such as Boston. Established in the NW since the 1970s” and “adult males seen October to February and often attracted to lights”  We should point out that other species in the family Geometridae also have flightless female moths, including the Fall Cankerworm Moth, Alsophila pometaria.  According to BugGuide:  “The females are wingless and stout-bodied, with the body banded dark and pale gray.”  We are amused that your name for these moths is the approved common name. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination