Currently viewing the category: "Owlet Moths"

Subject:  Pink and yellow moth
Geographic location of the bug:  North Central NM
Date: 08/08/2018
Time: 01:31 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi I found this moth and have not been able to identify it! It’s the end of summer which is our monsoon season and it was hanging out under our patio. It’s about the size of a nickel. It’s so cute!
How you want your letter signed:  Acuriousmom

Owlet Moth

Dear Acuriousmom,
We have two individuals of this very pretty Owlet Moth,
Psectrotarsia suavis, in our archive that are listed as Pink Spotted Flower Moths, but the only real references we are able to locate that uses that common name are on our site and on a link on a BugGuide page to the Primrose Moth, so we don’t believe the common name Pink Spotted Flower Moth is truly recognized since neither BugGuide nor the Moth Photographers Group uses that name, despite its appropriateness.  The only appropriate name for this beautiful moth would seem to be the more general family name Owlet Moth.  Another curiosity is that BugGuide notes:  “The larval host is unknown” so we don’t know what it eats.

Subject:  Indian Head Dress Moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Wayne NJ
Date: 06/28/2018
Time: 03:29 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  hi,
found this on my front window after a rain storm.
Any ideas?
How you want your letter signed:  na

Pearly Wood Nymph

Dear na,
This is a Pearly Wood Nymph,
Eudryas unio, (see BugGuide) which can be distinguished from the very similar looking Beautiful Wood Nymph, according to BugGuide, because the “dark band along outer margin of forewing is scalloped on the inside, not smoothly curved.”  We are amused that you described this Pearly Wood Nymph as an “Indian Head Dress Moth” because our readers have often observed that they resemble bird droppings, and we agree.

Subject:  Melipotis indomita – Indomitable Melipotis Moth?
Geographic location of the bug:  Northern tip of Big Island, Hawaii
Date: 04/21/2018
Time: 08:03 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Aloha Daniel,
A couple of moth photos, different moths, different times, but similar location at the northern end of the Big Island, Hawaii. I think they’re male and female Melipotis indomita – Indomitable Melipotis Moth. BugGuide ( shows similar male and female markings in their identification. Also found a photo from the Big Island ( that’s identified as this moth (looks like a male). Checking your site I didn’t find any Melipotis indomita to compare. So I’m punting this your way to see if you agree with the identification and to possibly add new moth photos to your vast treasure trove.
Mahalo, Graham
How you want your letter signed:  Graham

Indomitable Melipotis (male)

Dear Graham,
We are sorry for the delay.  We wanted to more thoroughly research your very well prepared submission and we got busy.  According to Pacific Northwest Moths (which pictures an individual from Maui):  “It is sexually dimorphic. The male forewing ground color is somewhat variable, usually dark brownish gray with a blue gray terminal area. A prominent pale brownish white mark borders the oblique antemedial line and extends sligthly beyond the thin median line. The postmedial line balloons laterally near the black reniform spot and this portion of the line is also filled with brownish white. A black bar is present in the cell proximal to the reniform spot, and a small black spot is present at the apex. The hindwing is brownish off-white, with a broad dark gray marginal band that is interrupted by white near the cubital vein. The hindwing fringe is pure white with a black segment midway between the anterior margin and the anal angle. The female is similar but the base of the wing is gray followed by rusty brown. The head and thorax of both sexes are gray. The antenna is simple, ciliate in males.  This rare migrant can be recognized by the sharply defined oblique mark with straight borders across the forewing in association with a black and brownish off-white hindwing.”  BugGuide has images of male and female and they seem in agreement with your own identification but no Hawaii sightings are mentioned.  Hawaiiscape does picture it and list it as a defoliator of Monkeypod trees.

Indomitable Melipotis (female)

Hi Daniel,
No worries about any delay (I should be the one apologizing for being slow to respond here). I’m always appreciative of the work you do and thank you for the great amount of information on this moth. I’ll probably post at least some of this info on my blog ( if that’s OK with you – with a link to your site of course, though I’m not exactly overrun with followers.
Mahalo, Graham

Subject:  Moth identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Southwest Louisiana
Date: 02/25/2018
Time: 06:04 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’ve been trying to figure out what kind of moth this is and it’s driving me crazy
How you want your letter signed:  Don’t know what this means

Wood Nymph Moth

This is one of the Wood Nymph moths in the genus Eudryas, and it is believed they mimic bird droppings as a means of camouflage.

Subject:  Nice brown moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Ha’iku, Maui, Hawaii
Date: 01/19/2018
Time: 11:50 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Aloha, came across this lovely moth on 18 January 18, 12:30pm. It was about 2.5″ long or so. Forgot to measure it. This is a screened window under an awning, facing west, at a restaurant.
As we have critters here from all over the world, I thought you might have some idea where this one is from and what it is.
Many thanks for all you do.
How you want your letter signed:  Eliza

Owlet Moth

Dear Eliza,
We believe this is an Owlet Moth in the superfamily Noctuoidea, and our searching has produced one similar looking but different individual, the Forage Looper, on Insect Identification for the Casual Observer.  We are posting your image and we will continue to research this.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck than we have had.

Subject:  Lepidoptera in Zanzibar
Geographic location of the bug:  Zanzibar.
Date: 11/19/2017
Time: 03:14 PM EDT
Hello again,
Here I come with a beautiful specimen, I’m not sure if it’s a moth or a butterfly.
It was at the hotel we were in Zanzibar island, on may 2016.
Can you help me to identify the species? I’ve been searching on Internet without any results.
Thank you one more time.
How you want your letter signed:  Ferran Lizana

Cream Striped Owl

Hello again.
I think it’s not necessari your help for this species because finally I’ve found it. 😉
It’s Cyligramma latona. And I think it’s for sure.
Anyway, thank you for your work.

Hi Ferran,
We are happy you were able to identify your Cream Striped Owl, which is pictured on African Moths and on iNaturalist where it states:  “This widespread and common species can be found in western subsaharan Africa, including Egypt and Guinea. It can also be found in southern Africa.”