Subject: What’s this wasp moth called
Geographic location of the bug: The Southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica
Time: 10:30 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: I’d love to know what species this wasp moth is. I took these photos.
How you want your letter signed: Len Greene
This Tiger Moth in the subtribe Euchromiina, the group commonly called Wasp Moth, has eluded us in terms of a species identification, but we believe based on this image on Revolvy representing the genus Cyanopepla, and this image on Bold Systems that the genus Cyanopepla might be correct. We will contact Arctiid expert Julian Donahue to get his opinion. Your images are gorgeous.
Thank you for your response and compliment! I’d love it if you’d keep me updated on any further identification of the genus. I have more photos of unique and beautiful insects that I have photographed on my farm in Costa Rica that I’d be glad share with you if you’d like.
Julian Donahue provides an identification.
This is Belemnia inaurata, presumably subspecies inaurata. Although Hampson treated it as an arctiid, it has been transferred to the Ctenuchina (now treated as a subtribe of the tribe Arctiini, subfamily Arctiinae of the family Erebidae–my ctenuchids don’t get any respect any more!)
This diurnal moth is frequently encountered in Costa Rica as it visits plants rich in pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), such Ageratum (which this plant may be, if it’s blue) and Eupatorium (the latter has been split into multiple genera, such as Conoclinium and Chromolaena, both of which I have in my butterfly & moth garden).
Nice pics. Thanks for the break from witnessing the cascading collapse of everything our nation stands for.
Ed. Note: Here is an image of Belemnia inaurata from FlickR.