Currently viewing the category: "Tiger Moths and Arctiids"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Maybe a moth, but what type?
Location: Hampton, Virginia (August 10, 2017)
August 10, 2017 9:29 am
Good afternoon,
I found this little guy on my back passenger door, just below the window. I’m hypnotized by the pattern of his/her wings, and can’t help but wonder just who he/she may be…
[Rambling ensues, but long-story short thank you for the service and humane perspective you provide.]
(Lamar here, first time-visitor. It dawned me after I happened to take this photo that, in this day-and-age, there is likely a website out there with the ability to identify a critter through the means of a shared photo.
Sure enough. This is a great service you all offer. Sadly, the first results in my query to Google were related to extermination companies. In understand many believe they are limited to the typical service, but I was rather delighted to find WhatsThatBug with one or two scrolls, and to find that your service does not endorse extermination… it leaves our times all the more hopeful.)
Signature: (I’m not entirely sure, but any signature you would wish to add would work well, of course.)

Eyed Tiger Moth

Hi Lamar,
This is an Eyed Tiger Moth or Giant Leopard Moth,
Hypercompe scribonia.  We are very pleased to hear that you support our “humane perspective”.

Good evening Daniel,
Thank you for getting back to me so soon.
I did in fact type a “p” instead of an “o.” That happens too frequently.
After some reading last night about the Giant Leopard Moth, I began to wonder a little more.
Yesterday, after work, 4-5 hours after having first seen the moth at lunch, he was still there in the same location. I didn’t want to drive off with the moth on the door. So, I gently let him/her crawl on my hand and rest there for awhile:

Eyed Tiger Moth Lamar

Actually, he/she didn’t seem in any hurry. I couldn’t even get the guy to properly nestle onto a surface for awhile. While I didn’t want to leave him/her for the birds/other forces, I was not sure how he/she would survive in my car for a few more hours, either.
Ultimately, I placed him/her in the buds of a Crate-Myrtle, and he/she crawled along.
It was daylight also, which seemed untimely. I’m still trying to understand this balance of embracing and leaving alone when appropriate. Lately, I’ve experienced a type of communication with other beings lately that I haven’t been able to define, other than it is comforting. I know that sounds insane, just as well.
With payday upon me, I’m about to happily donate to WhatsThatBug! I really thank you for your time,
Hi again Lamar,
Thank you both for your kindness to this Eyed Tiger Moth, for which we are tagging you with the Bug Humanitarian Award, and for your intentions to contribute to our site maintenance.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Insect Unknown
Location: Central Coast CA
August 9, 2017 1:42 pm
Could you please indentify this bug? Is it a wasp variety?
Signature: C Chandler

Ctenucha multifaria

Dear C Chandler,
This is not a wasp, but it is a Tiger Moth that mimics a wasp. 
Ctenucha multifaria has no common name, but we identified it on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Distal tip and entire costal edge of forewing narrowly white-marginned.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Great northern flag moth
Location: Los Alamos, NM
August 7, 2017 1:52 pm
I found one in New Mexico last night. He appears sick or injured – I found him on the ground looking drunk, making spastic and uncoordinated movements. He’s recovered a bit indoors and I’ll try to release him tonight.
Signature: JLC

Male Northern Giant Flag Moth

Dear JLC,
We are so thrilled to be able to post your gorgeous images of a male Northern Giant Flag Moth.  We were excited to get your comment on our Bug of the Month posting and we are so happy you have provided the image.  It is very interesting to see the undersides of the wing and it appears this species rests in a very “unmothlike” manner with the wings folded above the body like most butterflies rest.  It is very interesting that the images of the female we received last week were the first images of the adult of this species we have ever received in the nearly 20 years we have been writing What’s That Bug?  Perhaps 2017 is a year when their population numbers are higher since insect populations tend to ebb and flow from year to year.

Male Northern Giant Flag Moth

Thanks for the response. Glad to share him. I’ve been in the southwest for twelve years and never seen one before. He is still hanging out in my bathroom and seems improved but not fully functional. Since regaining some coordination he has put his wings away. The display I got may have been a “lucky” result of whatever is ailing him. I’m attaching a few more photos of what he usually looks like at rest. Still beautiful. Any tips on nursing him back to health? I’ve just provided water and a safe place for now.

Northern Giant Flag Moth

Hi again JLC,
Many Arctiids or Tiger Moths, the group that includes
Dysschema howardi, do not feed as adults, but we have not been able to verify that regarding the Northern Giant Flag Moth.  We did located this Project Noah posting that states:  “Absolutely stunning moth. Sadly, this one was on it’s death bed. Wings were were black with yellow patterns and blue dots on hind wings with orange on bottom edge. Abdomen: top is orange. There is a lateral line of blue with a yellow underside. The tip of the abdomen was red. Leg have vivid yellow markings.”  We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your Northern Giant Flag Moth might be at the end of its short life.  Should he expire while in your care, we hope you preserve his as Northern Giant Flag Moths do not seem to be very common, and though we do not condone collecting wild specimens, we imagine some collector would love to have your specimen.

Update:  August 10, 2017
Hi Daniel,
After he died I brought him to the Pajarito Environmental Education Center in Los Alamos NM to be preserved and displayed in their collection. They appreciated the contribution.
Thanks for the advice!
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Daylight moth?
Location: Helena, Montana
July 31, 2017 11:51 am
Lived in montana all my life. Never seen a moth or butterfly like this one… Doesn’t seem to classify as butterfly or moth clearly.
Reminds me of a cinnabar (red tansy) moth in movement.
Anyone know?
Signature: CandidKlutz

Police Car Moth

Dear Candidklutz,
This diurnal beauty is a Police Car Moth,
Gnophaela vermiculata, and according to BugGuide:  “Adults fly during the day in late summer, July-August (Alberta)” and “Larvae feed on bluebells [lungwort] (Mertensia spp.), puccoon (Lithospermum spp.) and stickseed (Hackelia spp.).  Adults feed during the day on nectar of herbaceous flowers such as thistle (Cirsium spp.) and goldenrod (Solidago spp.)”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Beautiful Moth in New Mexico
Location: Roswell, NM Chavez County
July 30, 2017 10:56 am
Hi Bugman,
My daughter and I found this beautiful moth at the base of a trashcan at a gas station in Roswell, NM. It just goes to show you can find beautiful things in the most unlikely places. We picked it up and took it a ways down the road and released in some trees. I have experience with silk moths, but this one had a proboscis. I was thinking a type of sphinx moth, but the body didn’t look right. Anyway, Google has let me down and I need help. Thanks for taking a look!
Signature: Trina W
Trina Woodall
TripleDogDare Photography

Female Northern Giant Flag Moth

Dear Trina,
We are especially happy we wrote back to you to notify you there were no images.  Though we immediately recognized this as a Tiger Moth, we needed to identify the species and we found the Northern Giant Flag Moth,
Dysschema howardi, pictured on the Moth Photographers Group, and we verified its identity on BugGuide were we learned that only females have orange underwings, meaning your individual is a female.  We also learned on BugGuide that this is the only member of the genus found north of Mexico:  “1 sp. n. of Mex. (a second sp. may have strayed once from Mexico).   There are some 90(!) species of Dysschema, mostly in South America.”  The species is also pictured on the Butterflies and Moths of North America site.  Though we have a single posting of the caterpillar of the Northern Giant Flag Moth, your submission is the only image we have in our archives of an adult.

Female Northern Giant Flag Moth

Ed. Note:  This is one of the most beautiful North American moths that has ever been submitted to our site.  It is so incredibly delicate in pattern that we could not resist making it the Bug of the Month for August 2017.  According to BugGuide:  “‘Flag Moth’ is a common name coined for the subfamily Pericopinae by Hogue (1993).”  So, in a feeble attempt on the part of our editorial staff to explain the common name, this would be the northernmost ranging species in a genus in the Flag Moth subfamily Pericopinae recognized by Charles L. Hogue.

OMG! How exciting!!! I felt like there was something special about this moth. It’s funny, I seem to have interesting bug experiences when I travel here. Several years ago, I submitted a picture of a Hercules beetle with my son’s Hot Wheels car. We had found the poor fellow in a grocery store parking lot where local kids were poking it with a stick. I’ve been enjoying your site ever since. Thanks for the honor, I’m pleased I was able to submit something interesting!

Trina Woodall

Wow Trina,
That was ten years ago.  We did not have the Bug Humanitarian Award tag at that time, but we need to retroactively tag that Grant’s Hercules Beetle sighting with the award.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: W. VA moth
Location: Baker, WV
July 24, 2017 6:50 am
I’m looking up several bugs, moths mostly, found in Baker, WV.
Signature: ThosRDyer

Painted Lichen Moth (left) and Rosy Maple Moth

Dear ThosRDyer,
The image you attached that contains two moths has a Painted Lichen Moth on the left and a Rosy Maple Moth on the right.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination