Currently viewing the category: "Owlet Moths"
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Furry headed moth
March 4, 2010
This was on the wall at my boyfriend’s condo around 8PM. It’s head is furry- I would pet it if I knew it wasn’t poisonous, but I wouldn’t want to hurt the bug either. Anyhow, if you could identify it, that would be great. I’ve never seen one around here before, and there are actually two of them on the wall
Michelle Miller
St. Croix, USVI

Spanish Moth

Hi Michelle,
Your moth reminds us a bit of a photo we received two months ago that was identified as a Mangrove Flannel Moth.  Your moth is a different species, but we suspect it might be a Puss Moth or Flannel Moth in the same family, Megalopygidae.  Karl always does a great job with difficult identifications, and perhaps he will be able to come up with a match.

Spanish Moth

Hi Daniel and Michelle:
I like the frowning face on its back when the wings are closed, and the fuzzy headgear. This is actually an Owlet Moth ((Noctuidae: Hadeninae), specifically a Spanish Moth (Xanthopastis timais). The species is extremely widespread, ranging from New York to Argentina and including all of the Caribbean. The background color ranges from white to bright pink but the rest of the markings are fairly consistent and distinctive. It’s a very pretty moth – thanks.
Karl

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Costa Rican Moth
January 27, 2010
Hello!
We here at the Monteverde Butterfly Gardens in Costa Rica are big fans of yours, and we have found a moth that we cannot identify. The photo should be pretty descriptive, but basically it is wearing some stylish headgear that resembles a broken twig. Your help is much appreciated!
Thanks
MBG Staff
Monteverde Butterfly Gardens Staff
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Owlet Moth

Dear MBG Staff,
This is an Owlet Moth in the family Noctuidae, a very large family.  There are several North American genera in the tribe Plusiini pictured on BugGuide that have a similar profile.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to be more specific in terms of a species or genus identification.

Karl does some research
Hi Daniel and MBG Staff:
This is indeed an Owlet Moth in the family Noctuidae, and I believe the subfamily is Euteliinae (sometimes included in Plusiinae or Nolinae). In the Euteliinae, the beautiful ‘broken-twig’ mimicry is achieved with cryptic coloration, a squat posture and a dramatically upturned abdomen. As far as I can tell there are fewer than 20 species in 3 genera found in Costa Rica, but they are all similar and highly variable. I suspect the genus is either Paectes or Eutelia. The closest match I was able to find on the Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG) site was Paectes obrotunda, but this is really just a guess. MBG Staff, if you contacted Dan Janzen at ACG he could probably give you a precise identification. Regards.
Hey Guys!
Thanks so much for your timely reply and insight!  I have seen Noctuids before with upturned abdomens, but never one this drastic or with this degree of mimicry.  I was actually convinced that it wasn`t his abdomen at all, but some weird ornamentation on top of the body, though when you look at it with this new perspective it makes sense.  Thanks again, I will keep you updated if I find out anything more.
Keep up the awesome work!
Kyle and MBG staff. Karl

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Can you identify this moth?
July 24, 2009
Dear Bugman,
My Mother who lives in Barnum, MN (located in-between Duluth and Hinckley on I-35) sent me this photo Thursday night. She lives in a very small town of about 300 people she lives on a private lake in a wooded area. The moth was hanging out on the garage at about 9:30 at night. I have spent all day Friday trying to identify it. I am having no luck. My children and I walked up to our library located a block away and got 4 butterfly/moth identification books…but this moth is still a mystery to us. I have looked in your postings of moths and can’t seem to find one that looks like it. I am now obsessed in trying to identify this moth. Can you please help me out? Thanks so much for your time,
Heidi and Family
Central Minnesota

Harris's Three Spot

Harris's Three Spot

Dear Heidi and Family,
We were very concerned that you might be neglecting your family or job or both in an attempt to identify your Harris’s Three Spot, so we spared no amount of time trying to research the subject ourselves.  We located your Owlet Moth, the Harris’s Three Spot, Harrisimemna trisignata, on BugGuide, but there was not much information on the species which is found over much of the Eastern part of North America according to the data map on BugGuideLynne Scott’s Lepidoptera site has some information on the species including that the caterpillars “have been reported to feed on a variety of trees and shrubs, including viburnum, lilac, ash, willow, winterberry (Ilex verticillata) and blueberry.

Hi,
Thanks so much for the reply.  The kids (ages 9 and 5) and I have enjoyed trying to find the Harris’s Three Spot (we’ll never forget it).  Actually we are having lots of fun identifying bugs in our yard this summer.  We live in Des Moines, IA and have watched several Cicada’s emerge and have also watched Monarch butterflies during metamorphism and have tagged them for the migration unfortunately none of our butterflies have been recovered.  We also have preying mantis and have fun finding out about them…we have lots of egg sacks on our chain link fence; of course they are all hatched now.  So this was a fun dayJ  I’m so glad you were able to identify it for us, hope it wasn’t too easy!  We love your web site and I have also shared it with their teachers at school (they go to a parochial school).  I’ll be sure to buy 3 copies of your book; one for our family, one for my parents and one for the library at school when it is published.
Thanks again so much for your time
Heidi, kids and Mom

Thanks for your kind response Heidi,
Since getting our new computer, we have been posting so many letters we have been neglecting the book, but we expect to delve into that full bore soon.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Black and White Moth
July 13, 2009
This black and white moth was on our window at night, attracted to the light.
David Brownell
Jocotepec, JAL, Mexico

Unknown Mexican Moth

Unknown Mexican Moth

Hi David,
Thanks for writing back and providing a location.  Though it resembles the Giant Leopard Moth of the U.S., this is a distinct species.  Its legs are quite distinctive.  Though we believe it is a Tiger Moth, we aren’t certain.  We will contact Arctiid expert Julian Donahue to see if he can identify your moth.

Update from Julian Donahue
Mistaking this moth for a tiger moth is a common one–it has even fooled professional collectors from whom I used to purchase Mexican tiger moths for the Museum (consequently, we have a lot of them in the collection!). (ed. Note:  Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History)
The moth is in the Noctuidae (to which the tiger moths have been recently relegated as a subfamily: Arctiinae), in the subfamily Pantheinae. It is in the genus Lichnoptera, and its crisp black markings on a white ground make it very similar to Lichnoptera decora, the only member of the genus that occurs in the United States. Poole’s catalog of the world Noctuidae has 15 species of Lichnoptera, all but decora described from Mexico and various countries in Central and South America–and most of these are not as boldly marked as decora (I’m fairly certain that decora also occurs in Mexico). The larvae of L. decora have been reported feeding on apricot.
Julian P. Donahue

Another Correction
Daniel:
I believe this is an Owlet Moth (Noctuidae); subfamily Pantheinae.  It looks very similar to Lichnoptera decora, a species that also occurs in the southwestern USA, but it is virtually identical to photos of L. cavillator in my copy of “Butterflies and Moths of Costa Rica” (Chacon and Montero). Anyway, I believe Lichnoptera is the genus. Regards.
Karl
http://nitro.biosci.arizona.edu/zeeb/butterflies/figs/moths/Noctuidae/Pantheinae/L_decora.jpg

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Green and black moth
Wed, Apr 29, 2009 at 9:31 AM
This little moth has come back this year to the same spot on the white wall at work here in Kingston WA. Another one was here the same time last year in April. It is only about 1 inch long, but it’s colors are so lovely. I haven’t seen it with it’s wings open, so don’t know what the body looks like. Hope you can tell me what it is. Where does it start it’s journey, and where does it end it? I’ve seen 2 or 3 of them this year, but not together. Glad you’re writing a book! Hope you include my moth!
Mary
Kingston, WA 98346

Sallow Moth

Sallow Moth

Hi Mary,
This is a Sallow Moth in the genus Feralia based on photos posted on BugGuide. It is a lovely green owlet moth in the family Noctuidae. We are uncertain of the exact species, though a few have interesting common names. It might be The Joker, Feralia jocosa, which has been reported from nearby Idaho, or it might be the Deceptive Sallow Moth, Feralia deceptiva, which has been reported from Washington State and Oregon as well as across the border in British Columbia, Canada. The adults fly in early spring and the caterpillars eat the foliage of Douglas Fir.  We believe the species we find in Southern California is Feralia februalis whose larvae feed on the foliage of oaks. After numerous discussions with our publisher, we have determined that we will not be using photo illustrations for our book, but rather vintage entomological drawings since we are producing an entertaining popular culture book as opposed to a traditional identification fieldbook.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Strike the pose, amazing moth.
Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 6:42 PM
Hi guys,
Found this stunning moth and was fortunate enough to have Donald Hobern, an entomologist from CSIRO provide the ID of Eporectis tephropis (Noctuidae: Catocalinae. I could imagine that if it wasn’t against the green surronds that it would look much like a dead leaf. There are no images of this one on the web at the moment but will supply it to Australian Moths Online as well
aussietrev
Queensland, Australia

Owlet Moth:  Eporectis tephropis

Owlet Moth: Eporectis tephropis

Hi Trevor,
As always, your images and contributions to our website are a treasure.  We can only wonder when you will begin your own site.  Thanks for this stunning Owlet Moth image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination