Currently viewing the category: "Owlet Moths"
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Giant moth identification
Location: Gauteng, South Africa
February 24, 2011 3:14 am
We often get these guys fluttering about at night, this is the first pic I’ve gotten of one of them sitting still in good light.
The wingspan is usually about 10cm (4 inches)
Signature: twistedlizzard

Owlet Moth

Dear twistedlizzard,
You have some species of Owlet Moth.  There are many Australian species that are also found in South Africa and some genera are represented by similar looking species in the two locations.  We believe your moth looks like either a member of the genus
Erebus which you can find represented on Butterfly House, or the genus Donuca which you may see on the Brisbane Insect website.

This looks like a Cream-striped Owl, Cyligramma latona (Noctuidae: Catocalinae). It is apparently widespread and common in Subsaharan Africa, as well as Egypt, and the larvae feed on Acacia. Regards. Karl.

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Underwing Moth
Location: Ancaster, Ontario
November 16, 2010 4:58 am
This underwing invited itself into the house and I took the photos in June of this year. I captured it in a vase to get a closer look and to take some pictures of it (and also to keep my cats from eating it) and then let it go back outside.
I love their aerodynamic little faces.
Signature: Cheryl-Anne

Greater Yellow Underwing

Hi Cheryl-Anne,
We nearly went dizzy scrolling through all the individuals in the Owlet Moth family Noctuidae on the Moth Photographers Group which does not recognize the newer taxonomy on BugGuide of the superfamily Noctuoidae.  This is one large family or superfamily, but we finally found
Noctua pronuba on the Moth Photographers Group on Plate 33 (Noctuidae, Noctuinae), and it matches your moth.  BugGuide identifies Noctua pronuba by the common names Greater Yellow Underwing, Large Yellow Underwing or Winter Cutworm (larva) and states that it was:  “Introduced from Europe to Nova Scotia in 1979, this species has since spread north to the Arctic Ocean, west to the Pacific, and south to the Gulf of Mexico.

Greater Yellow Underwing

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Fuzzy Legged Moth
Location: Ancaster, Ontario
November 16, 2010 4:47 am
This picture was taken July 8th and I came across it while hunting for another photo. Still don’t know what sort of moth it is. Maybe you do?
These shots were as good as I could get with a flash at night. Sorry for the blurriness of her head.
Signature: Cheryl-Anne

Wood Nymph

Hi Cheryl-Anne,
This is a Wood Nymph in the genus
Eudryas.  These moths do a very good job of looking like bird droppings which probably assists in their survival.

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spiky moth in berkeley
Location: Berkeley, California
November 14, 2010 1:20 pm
Hi there. Found this moth resting on my windowsill in November. Love the protuberances on it!
Any ideas?
Signature: Ayesha

Bilobed Looper

Hi Ayesha,
There are many Owlet Moths in the tribe Plusiini that are known as Loopers, and your moth closely resembles the Bilobed Looper,
Megalographa biloba, which was recently classified in its own genus after formerly residing in the genus Autographa.  According to BugGuide it is:  “A very widespread species; the type specimen was collected in Venezuela.

awesome, thanks. Yes, I see the photos on Bug Guide and looks the same. And its larval host plants are pretty common plants so I can see why there might be some around here.
Lovely moth. Thank you again.

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Is this a type of Puss Moth?
Location: Central Florida
October 29, 2010 9:10 pm
This gorgeous little guy was on the door post of our garage on October 8. We live in Central Florida. I’m not sure what type of moth it is, but the hairy legs made me wonder if it’s a puss moth? Thanks for any help you can provide!
Signature: Pamela

Pearly Wood Nymph

Hi Pamela,
Your moth is a Pearly Wood Nymph,
Eudryas unio, and people often write in to us requesting the identification of the bird poop moth because it really does seem to resemble bird droppings.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Alianthus… but not!
Location:  Santiago de Cuba
September 28, 2010 3:03 am
Hi Bug People,
Congrats on your book! I’m trying to work out some way of getting it here in Israel (Amazon doesn’t ship here, and if they do, the shipping costs far more than the book).
Last July I went on a trip to Cuba, and at Santiago’s El Morro fortress I saw a myriad of moths of all shapes and sizes, from black witches to melonworm moths.
I managed to ID most of them, thanks to the wonderful WTB (thanks again!), but this one stumped me. Couldn’t find it on Bug Guide either. It looks just like an Alianthus, but the coloring is all wrong. Instead of the orange background, it has very dark red and blue. At a distance it looks black.
Any help would be greatly appreciated, the curiosity is driving me crazier than I already am!
I’m also curious about the congregation of moths in one place. Yes, the fortress is well lit, but so are a lot of other places. Many of the moths seemed to be old or dying and the birds were enjoying an all-you-can-eat buffet.
The old Spanish fortress is located just outside the city of Santiago de Cuba, at the mouth of the bay that is still used as the city’s port, at the south-eastern end of Cuba.
Signature:  Ben from Israel

Owlet Moth from Cuba

Hi Ben,
We agree that this does somewhat resemble the Ailanthus Webworm, meaning that it may be in the Tropical Ermine Moth subfamily Attevinae, but that is just a guess.  We also had no luck in trying to identify this moth.  We will post your letter and photo and hope someone will be able to provide additional information or perhaps an identification.  We also tried to scan the Moth Photographers Group website thinking that if if is found in Cuba, it may also be recorded in Florida, but that did not produce a match, though we only scratched the surface on the possibilities.  Regarding the book, it is also available through several other vendors and we are not certain if any of them ship to Israel.  Check out our current links to the vendors carrying the book on our site.

Karl Identifies Owlet Moth
Hi Daniel and Ben:
This looks so similar to a Tropical Ermine Moth that it is a little difficult to switch focus, but it is actually an Owlet Moth (Noctuidae) in the subfamily Acontiinae. The genus is Cydosia, of which there are at least ten species but only three realistic possibilities (the rest are restricted to South America). There is considerable variability in all three but to me it looks like C. nobilitella. It is also the only one I could confirm as resident in Cuba (ranges from southern United States to Argentina, and throughout the Antilles). The Bugguide also has several photos. Regards.  Karl

Thanks so much Karl.

Ben writes Back
September 29, 2010
Hi Daniel,
Sorry I didn’t provide more details.
The congregation of moths was all over the old Spanish fortress, on the walls, the ground, everywhere! Even inside open rooms. No trees anywhere near, and very little other vegetation.
I’m attaching a photo of what I believe is a white witch, and one of a section of wall about 1 sq meter, where I counted at least 10 moths.

Mysterious Congregation of Moths

Hi again Ben,
Now that you have sent a photo of the moth congregation, we have no theory and our original theory about sap or sweet sticky substances doesn’t seem correct.  Perhaps one of our readers will have an opinion about this mystery.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination