Currently viewing the category: "Noctuoids"

Subject:  Beautiful
Geographic location of the bug:  Eastern Cape South Africa
Date: 03/15/2021
Time: 05:05 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, I tried to identify this month, it’s either a polkadot wasp moth or a nine dot moth. Can you help? The orange markings seem different from both species.
How you want your letter signed:  Kind regards

Cool Maiden

This is a Tiger Moth in the subfamily Arctiinae, and it reminds us very much of an image identified as the Heady Maiden Moth, Amata cerbera, which we identified a few years ago, so we searched for other members of the genus in South Africa.  We found the Cool Hornet Moth, Amata kuhlweini, on iNaturalist and we verified its identity on African Moths where the common name is Cool Maiden.

Wow, Thank you for all the effort you put into identifying this stunning moth which now has a name~Cool Maiden!
I really appreciate it!
Kind regards

Subject: Zach Meikamp wants to know about this seven year old memory
Geographic location of the bug:  Costa Rica (Central)
Date: 04/04/2021
Time: 04:35 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello. A pic came up in my memories on my phone from 7 years ago. It was a moth I believe and it was strikingly beautiful. None of the local friends could identify it. It’s driving me crazy what it is and I have searched up and down the internet to find it but have yet to succeed. What do you think?
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you.. Zach M

Wasp Moth is Cyanopepla species

Dear Zach M,
This is a positively gorgeous Wasp Moth in the subtribe Ctenuchina, and we have several gorgeous individuals of different species of Wasp Moths on our site from Costa Rica.   Though our initial search did not turn up a conclusive visual match, this is quite close match to the fantasy butterfly wings being sported by Melanie on the Irish Chain.  Luckily, we have a close friend Lepidopterist Julian Donahue who is an expert on Arctiids and we will see if he recognizes your beautiful Wasp Moth.

Update 4/8/2021:  Julian Donahue Responds
It appears to be a species of Cyanopepla, but I need to see the abdomen and hindwings; it could be a form of C. arrogans, C. submacula, or something else.
Julian P. Donahue

Subject:  Identifying Black Moth(?) with Metallic Blue Markings
Geographic location of the bug:  Northern Indiana, USA
Date: 06/18/2020
Time: 11:36 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I noticed what appears to be black moths flirting between tree leaves and circling the trees a few days ago. I’ve never seen these moths in my parents’ yard or anywhere else. They are several of them, 5-10, and they are flying around a weeping willow and an oak tree. They are landing and staying on the oak leaves even when approached. Thank you for you help in identifying this for me and my family!
How you want your letter signed:  Nicholas K. Sobecki

Virginia Ctenucha

Dear Nicholas,
Congratulations on identifying this Virginia Ctenucha as a moth.  It is a very effective wasp mimic.  Here is a BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Despite its name, this species is more commonly found in the northern United States and southern Canada than in Virginia, which represents the southern boundary of its range.”

Subject:  Lunate Zale
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 06/22/2020
Time: 8:35 AM EDT
While working in the yard, Daniel couldn’t help but to notice this new species to the porch light, a Lunate Zale, Zale lunata, which we identified on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults – quite variable with both fore- and hindwings dark brown with shades of yellow, red brown and black, sometimes with white or silver marginal patches.”  The pronounced “shoulder pads” are not evident in most images, but The Natural History of Orange County includes images that reveal these unusual features.

Lunate Zale


Subject:  Crimson bug species? Panama fauna!
Geographic location of the bug:  San Miguelito, Panama.
Date: 04/14/2020
Time: 05:28 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi bugman. I’ve only seen this bug twice in my life 3 years appart first in 2009 and then in 2012. Both times it was just standing still inside my house and both insects were identical. Back then there were a lot of jungle-like green areas around my house for context. This bug was about 5cm / 2 inches long, had “feathery” antennae, transparent wings, the most posterior part of the abdomen was “hairy” (i think the sides of the abdomen were hairy too but less hairy) and I confirmed it was capable of flight as I accidentaly startled it when I was taking the photo. Well as you can see most of the body is colored with (really strong) red and black. The thorax has two parallel white lines. I never saw the ventral part of the insect.
Is this a moth? A butterfly? This question has been haunting me for 10 years. Well thanks and have fun with this one!
PS:Sorry if I used wrong terms in my anatomical description.
How you want your letter signed:  A curious physician

Scarlet Tipped Wasp Moth

Dear curious physician,
We are impressed that you identified this as a moth or butterfly.  It is a Moth, but one that is often mistaken for a wasp.  It is a Scarlet Tipped Wasp Moth,
Dinia aeagrus, and we identified it on Project Noah.  You can also find it pictured on FlickR.

Subject:  Butterfly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Silver City, NM
Date: 03/22/2020
Time: 08:06 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  There were hundreds of these butterflies on this one type of bush. I tried to get close to them to get a good photo but they would all fly off. I caught one but didn’t want to kill it to get a good picture so I apologize for the poor photos. The spots on the wings are yellow. They are small, like skippers. I did look through the photos on your website but couldn’t find it.
How you want your letter signed:  Karen Nakakihara

Diurnal Moth: Litocala sexsignata

Dear Karen,
Butterflies are generally thought of as diurnal and moths as nocturnal, but this is actually a diurnal Moth that flies during the day.  We have identified it as
Litocala sexsignata thanks to Butterflies and Moths of North America where it states:  “Adults are diurnal. They may be seen nectaring at flowers or sipping moisture in muddy spots.”   According to BugGuide:  “common to abundant in some areas; uncommon in others.”  This species has no common name.