Currently viewing the category: "Noctuoids"

Psychedelic caterpillars
Hello again. These life jacket orange with metallic blue dots and two long white hairs near the head caterpillars are decimating my stephanotis vine. The pupae are shiny brown and have strands of silk holding them on the leaves. I live in West Palm Beach Florida. Can you identify them?
Enid

Ed. Note: Caterpillars are often difficult to identify, and sadly, we weren’t much help to Enid, but as the following response shows, the caterpillars metamorphosed into a stunning little moth.

(07/19/2005) The psychedelic caterpillar becomes moth
Hello there. Remember the life jacket orange and metallic blue caterpillars? Well, this is what they become and it is called a faithful beauty and they are rare for West Palm Beach. Regards.
Enid

Hi Enid,
Your caterpillar photo was on our back burner, but we couldn’t really identify. Your Moth has a wonderful common name, Faithful Beauty, and the scientific name is Composia fidelissima. It is mostly tropical but does stray into South Florida. Perhaps last year’s hurricanes blew a few moths off course and they liked the climate. Thanks so much for the update.

Unknown Moth
Hello,
I hope you might be able to help us… My son has an insect collection which he is preparing to display at the local County Fair. He has a beautiful moth which we have been unable to identify; we haven’t seen anything like it in any book or online. The closest appears to be perhaps a hawkmoth of some kind. The body is 2 1/2 cm long and the wing length is 3 cm. His body is red with a tufted tip and the wings are mostly clear. My son needs to know the name of it and the Family, and if possible, needs to know by July 10th (Sorry for the short notice…. We tried a few days ago and got a failure notice.)
Thanks so much. (We had several of them at night at our house (in Glen Ellen, CA) over a span of a couple of weeks in October, 2003.)
Loralee

Hi Loralee,
We already have a photo of Edward’s Glassy-wing, Hemihyalea edwardsi, on our butterfly and moth page. The image was sent in last December by Jeffrey in Sacramento. There isn’t much written about this moth. It is a California species and is a member of the Tiger Moth family Arctiidae. It has a close relative that lives in Colorado, Hemihyalea labecula. The chief difference between the two moths is that Edward’s Glassy-wing has pink to crimson margins on the secondary wings.

Thank you so much for a personal and PROMPT reply!! I really doubted we’d find out before his display was due! He’ll be thrilled!! (By the way, he’s only 8, but he LOVES insects, and wants to be an Entomologist when he grows up…)
Loralee

(12/12/2003)
We would like to know what kind of moth this is?? It was found in california in the San Andreas which is 1  1/2 hours SE from Sacramento.
Thank You
Jeffrey

Dear Jeffrey,
You have a species of Arctiidae (Tiger Moths) known as the Edwards’ Glassy-wing, Hemihyalea edwardsi. It is a California species. Sorry I can’t give you any additional information since I can’t locate anything online other than photos and there isn’t much written in the books I have.

Thank you for identifing my moth. That helped allot.
Jeffrey

Thank you Jeffrey, for sending the great photo of you pinning your collection.

We recently spotted this Tiger Moth, The Painted Arachnis, Arachnis picta, laying eggs on the side of our house. Every night, the moths are attracted to the lights outside. Our Green Lynx Spider has been feasting on them on a regular basis, hence the corpse on the right.