Currently viewing the category: "Leaf Skeletonizer Moths"
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Subject: Unusual insect for Vegas
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
September 15, 2013 5:30 pm
To whom it may concern, I’ve happened across a very unusual insect flying around the outside of my store on September 15th. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before, let alone one that’s gone whizzing past my face just to land long enough to get a shot. Whatever it is, it’s a beautiful little specimen, a quick web search later turned this site up as the first one to ask.
Thank you for your time~
Signature: Ian A.

Western Grapeleaf Skeletonizer

Western Grapeleaf Skeletonizer

Dear Ian,
Because this insect is partially obscured by vegetation in your photo, we cannot be certain, but we believe this is a moth known as the Western Grapeleaf Skeletonizer,
Harrisina metallica.  Are there grapevines nearby?  You can also compare your sighting to the images of the Western Grapeleaf Skeletonizer posted to BugGuide.

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Subject: Re: Metallic blue micro-moth?
Location: Yamingshan National Park, Taiwan
April 7, 2013 5:32 pm
Hello Bugman!
I just returned from a quick trip to Taiwan. I’ve never seen it rain so much, but we managed to get some bugging in between storms. This is a picture of one of the odd ones I can’t seem to find in my books or online. We found this moth (?), which was half an inch long, around mid-day on April 4th on a jungled trail in Yamingshan National Park north of Taipei. The weather alternated between clouds and rain. I was thinking it might be a small geometer moth but I didn’t get a top view before the little guy flittered away into the mists. I appreciate any help you can provide, Bugman.
Thank you so much!
Signature: Marian Lyman Kirst

Unknown Blue Moth from Thailand

Unknown Blue Moth from Taiwan

Dear Marian,
This is sure a pretty little moth, but our initial attempts to identify it have turned up blank.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck.

Karl Provides an Identification:
Hi Daniel and Marian:
It looks very similar to the Forrester Moth or Leaf Skeletonizer Moth (Zygaenidae: Procridinae), Clelea sapphirina, from Vietnam posted by Tricia a few months back. It is probably C. formosana, which, as far as I can tell, is the only member of the genus in Taiwan (formerly known as Formosa). Here is a link to a photo of the same species also taken in Yamingshan National Park. Regards.  Karl

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Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: East Texas
April 5, 2013 10:07 pm
I found this bug by my front porch.. Not sure what it is
Signature: Thanks, Erika

Grapeleaf Skeletonizer

Grapeleaf Skeletonizer

Hi Erika,
This is actually a moth, even though it resembles a wasp.  It is a Grapeleaf Skeletonizer,
Harrisina americana, or a closely related species in the same genus.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on grape foliage, and can be pests; may also feed on Redbud, Virginia Creeper.
Adults take nectar.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth with irridescent turquoise markings
Location: Sapa, Vietnam
February 11, 2013 4:15 pm
Dear bugman,
We saw this pretty little moth sitting on a path in a park in Sapa, Vietnam, and are hoping that you can tell us what it is. We have spent many hours combing pages of photographs of fantastically coloured insects, but no luck so far
Signature: Tricia

Forrester Moth

Hi Tricia,
This is the type of identification that might take considerable research, and we are going to post it as unidentified at this time in a effort to respond to some other queries this morning.  Perhaps one of our readers will have time to scour the internet for an identification while we are off on what will most likely be a very long day at our place of gainful employment.

Karl provides an identification
Hi Daniel and Tricia:
It looks like a Burnet or Forester moth in the genus Clelea (Zygaenidae: Procridinae), probably C. sapphirina. I couldn’t find confirmation that it is native to Viet Nam but it ranges from India to Hong Kong, so it seems reasonable that its range would include Viet Nam. It could also be another of the several species in the genus but C. sapphirina appears to be a close match. Regards.  Karl

Thanks Karl,
BugGuide refers to the family Zygaenidae as the Leaf Skeletonizer Moths.

Thank you very much for responding, and it will be interesting to see if the post produces anything. I hadn’t realised quite how many wonderful and fantastic bugs there were out there till I started seriously trying to identify what we’d seen –  if I was a bit younger I might have been inspired to be an etymologist!
Thanks anyway,

Hi again Tricia,
An etymologist is a person who studies word and their origins.  A person who studies insects is an entomologist.  We personally love the similarity in the pronunciation of these two fields and Daniel called the first chapter in his book, The Curious World of Bugs, “Entomology and Etymology:  What’s in a Name?”

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Subject: What is the black & red bug?
Location: The Great Marsh, Beverly Shores, IN
July 28, 2012 11:29 pm
Hi, I like walking through the Great Marsh in Beverly Shores, IN. It is part of the Indiana Dunes National Lake Shore.
I came across a Pearly Wood Nymph which I thought was fascinating. I have included pictures of that. But my question is about the black and red, feathery looking bug. I found it in the Marsh as well. I have never seen another of either bug since then. Thank you.
Signature: Janet baines

Grapeleaf Skeletonizer

Hi Janet,
The insect you would like identified is a Grapeleaf Skeletonizer Moth,
Harrisina americana.  According to BugGuide, the adults are nectar feeders and they are unusual in that they are both nocturnal and diurnal.  Caterpillarsfeed in groups on the leaves of grapes, eating them to the veins.  The Pearly Wood Nymph does an excellent job of mimicking bird droppings.

Pearly Wood Nymph

Thank you so much. I am so glad to have discovered this site.


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Subject: Red-headed tiger moth (?)
Location: Tsuchiura City, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan (about 60 km northwest of Tokyo)
July 6, 2012 4:17 am
Hello Bugman!
This moth came up to say good morning the other day. He landed on me as bold as can be and then flew off. He did stay put long enough for me to get a picture, though.
I always try to find a bug before I post to you, and usually I’m not successful. But this time I think I’ve got it! I guess this beautiful moth is some kind of tiger moth. From his wing shape and red head, I think he must be a ctenucha moth or a clymene moth. I think the ctenucha is most likely, but I couldn’t find any pictures on-line with the same markings as this one has. Can you confirm?
Thank you so much!
Signature: Melissa in Japan

Subject: red-headed moth submission classification
July 6, 2012 5:37 am
Hi Bugman!
I just uploaded a picture of a black-winged moth with a white stripe on its wings and a red head for an identification. A Facebook friend just identified it as ”zygaenidae chalcosiinae pidorus glaucopis‘.
Don’t know the common name, though.
Melissa in Japan
Signature: Melissa Noguchi

Subject: red-headed moth (last one I promise!)
July 6, 2012 6:11 am
Hi again,
We can’t find the common name in English for the moth I submitted, but apparently it’s called a ホタルが (hotaru-ga) in Japanese. A direct translation of the name would be the Firefly Moth.
Melissa (still in Japan)
Signature: Melissa Noguchi

Leaf Skeletonizer Moth: Hotaruga

Hi Melissa,
Thanks for all your emails regarding this lovely moth.  We learned on BugGuide that the family Zygaenidae is commonly called the Leaf Skeletonizer Moths.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination