Currently viewing the category: "Leaf Skeletonizer Moths"
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Beautiful Blue Bug
Sun, May 10, 2009 at 1:44 PM
These blue fellows showed up in late April, proceeded to make a love shack of my grapevines, and disappeared shortly after. A couple of weeks later my vines are covered with these cute, little yellow and black caterpillars. I’m assuming the two are related but I can’t seem to find them on any of the internet searches I’ve done.
Thanks for any info, Rebecca
Mesa, AZ

Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer

Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer

Hi Rebecca,
We are so happy to have your photos of the adult moth as well as caterpillars of the Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer, Harrisina metallica , in the same letter.  According to BugGuide it is:  “Native to southwestern USA and northern Mexico. Occurs from California to Texas, north to Colorado and Utah ” and “Larvae are a severe pest in some California vineyards.”  A very similar species, the Grape Leaf Skeletonizer, Harrisina americana, is found in the eastern U.S.

Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer Caterpillars

Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer Caterpillars

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

iridescent blue flying bug
Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 9:38 PM
I found three of these iridescent blue bugs in my back yard. Two were mating and the other had fallen in a bowl of water. They are iredescent blue with the exception of their neck which is red. For size comparison, it is on my finger in the first image. At first I thought they were wasps, but there was no visible stinger and I didn’t get stung when it landed on my finger.
Adriana
Phoenix, Arizona

Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer

Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer

Dear Adriana,
We are sad you didn’t provide a photo of the mating pair of Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer moths for our Bug Love page. The Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer, Harrisina metallica, has a species name that refers to the iridescence you describe. This species has brightly colored caterpillars that can defoliate grape vines if present in sufficient quantities. BugGuide refers to this moth by the compound word common name Western Grapeleaf Skeletonizer. Though they are not Wasp Moths, the species does mimic certain wasps, hence your early confusion.

Daniel,
I’m sorry I didn’t get the picture of them mating for your site. This all
explains why they were in my yard AND what those very pretty, very damaging
caterpillars turn into after they are done devouring my grape vines. I
usually pick them off of the vines each year.
I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my question and hope you
enjoy the pictures I did provide.
Adriana

Thanks for the followup confirmation Adriana,
We did enjoy your photos, and your letter and one of the images was posted to our site yesterday.

Update: Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 7:14 PM
Here’s your wish come true.
Adriana

Grape Leaf Skeletonizers Mating

Grape Leaf Skeletonizers Mating

Thanks Adriana,
Our internet connectivity was down, so we were unable to post yesterday.

Grape Leaf Skeletonizers Mating

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unusual but pretty
Hi folks,
while I was out walking near the shore in Cumbria UK, I come accross these rather pretty little creatures. I have never seen anything like them before so my question is: I didn’t kill them I just took a picture and let them be! What are they? Picture attached…
James W. Smith

Hi James,
These are mating Six Spot Burnet Moths, Zygaena filipendulae, and according to the UK Moths website, they are the commonest day flying Burnet Moth in Britain.

Update: 18 September 2008
Hi, great website. Your pictures of burnet moths titled ” Six Spot Burnet Moths Mating in the UK, (09/12/2008) Unusual but pretty” are actually narrow-bordered five spot burnet moths Zygaena lonicerae. Couldn’t see any way of adding this info to the site.
Cheers
Carterocephalus

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Grape Leaf Skeletonizer???
Greetings from Palmdale, California! Located in the blazing Mojave Desert. These moths started appearing in our backyard just after it started getting warm out. I like them very much, but I just wanted to double-check my identification before I post the picture up on my website. Yes, we do have grape plants in our backyard, and a Vineyard not far from us (I know, in the Desert of all places!) Am I right?? Thanks so much!
Abbey

Hi Abbey,
You are correct but for one small detail. This is a Western Grapeleaf Skeletonizer, Harrisina metallica, not the Grapeleaf Skeletonizer, Harrisina americana, which is found in the east.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

what is this??
Hello,
I love your site! It helped me identify a pseudoscorpion that I found in my bedroom the other day. It was very creepy until I figured out what it was. Then I was very relieved and fascinated 🙂 I am doing an ecology project for my Biology class and I need to identify this bug. I have no idea what it is and I was hoping you might. I found it in some bushes near the beach in LaPorte, Texas. It was about an inch long or so. Thanks so much,
Kristine

Hi Kristine,
This looks to us like a Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer, Harrisina brillians. You will find considerable more information on the similar, orange collared Grape Leaf Skeletonizer, Harrisina americana.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

This beautiful graceful looking ……?
Dear Bugman,
This beautiful graceful looking ……? was flying from bloom to bloom on the privet here in northeastern PA. The orange band around the neck reminds me of chenille, and the antenna of fringe. Please help with a name for it so I can learn more about it. Thank you for your help.
Denice

Hi Denise,
The Grape Leaf Skeletonizer, Harrisina americana, is one of the Smoky Moths in the family Zygaenidae. The caterpillars feed in groups on grape leaves, leaving only the veins, hence the common name.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination