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

Subject: This guy is near my Luna moth.
Location: Reston virginia.
May 14, 2016 6:51 pm
I have a beautiful Luna moth at my front door and another large brown moth I can’t identify on my outdoor light.
Questions.
1 are Luna moths endangered by weather in th 30’s?
2 his wings are quivering. What does that mean?
3 what is the brown moth on my lamp?
4 there’s a toad hanging out near the Luna. Will he eat him/her?
Thank you. So happy I found your website.
Signature: Love nature.

Polyphemus Moth

Polyphemus Moth

Dear Love nature,
All of the preserved native open space in Reston is obviously having a positive impact on wildlife.  Adult Giant Silkmoths, including Luna Moths, emerge from the cocoon when conditions, including temperature, are conducive to reproduction.  If temperatures dip to the low 30s, the moths will likely not fly and await a warming trend, but if they are sheltered, they will most likely survive.  Quivering wings are sometimes evident just prior to a moth beginning to fly, and the phenomenon is explained on BugGuide:  “The shaking behavior is a method of regulating body temperature, similar to shivering in humans. Though these are ‘cold-blooded’ animals, their nocturnal nature forces them to be active in lower temperatures, so the shivering heats up the flight muscles enough to expend the massive amounts of energy required to take off.”  Your brown moth is a male Polyphemus Moth, a species with pronounced eyespots on the ventral surface.  Regarding your final question, we believe you are mistaken.  That appears to be a cat and not a toad that is checking out your Luna Moth.  A cat can do considerable damage to a Luna Moth, including mortally wounding it. 

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

Thank you for your quick response.  That was my cat wishing she were on the other side of the door (which will NEVER happen). The toad was out of sight of my camera.  My husband moved him down the porch for the evening.  The Luna was gone this morning so I hope he/she is ok.  These beautiful moths come to my home annually.
Love your website.  Thank you so much.
Debi

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: grasshopper?
Location: Kakata, Liberia, west Africa
May 14, 2016 11:20 pm
This beautiful insect landed on our door and stayed a while. It flies. A science teacher here thought it was a grasshopper, but we’re wondering as it doesn’t seem to have those “hopper” legs. Thanks!
Signature: Lynn

Oleander Hawkmoth

Oleander Hawkmoth

Dear Lynn,
You were correct to doubt the science teacher.  This is an Oleander Hawkmoth, a member of a distinctly different insect order than a Grasshopper.  The normal range of the Oleander Hawkmoth has increased sigfnificantly with the cultivation of oleander as a flowering garden shrub.

Oleander Hawkmoth

Oleander Hawkmoth

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this Insect?
Location: Alberta Canada possibly Costa Rica
May 7, 2016 7:57 pm
We found this in a box of bananas that came from Costa Rica today and we cant figure out exactly what it is or if it came from there or here (Alberta Canada) Any help would be appreciated. The pic is the underside of it.
Signature: Kristy

Tiger Moth

Banana Moth

Dear Kristy,
This image has been open on our desktop for the past week as we have tried unsuccessfully to provide you with a species identification.  This looks to us like a Tiger Moth in the subtribe Ctenuchina to us.  We do not believe it is not a native species, but we wish you had been able to provide us with a dorsal view as most online images of moths are dorsal views.  We browsed through images from the subtribe Ctenuchina on BugGuide, but we could not find a conclusive match.  We will attempt to contact Lepidopterist Julian Donahue who is an expert in Tiger Moths to see if he can provide an ID.

Julian Donahue Responds
This is indeed a ctenuchid (or as currently classified, Erebidae: Arctiinae: tribe Arctiini, subtribe Ctenuchina): a fresh male Antichloris viridis Druce, newly emerged from its cocoon that accompanied bananas (its larval hostplant) imported from tropical America. In his 1975 paper Field reported examining specimens from numerous localities in the United States, three records from England, one from Germany, and two from British Columbia, Canada (Kaslo and Victoria). The native range of this species is from central or southern Mexico south through Central America to Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador.
This may be a new record for Alberta, however, so I am copying this to a couple of colleagues in that province.
Best wishes from the glorious Sonoran Desert, where the saguaros are now blooming on our property,
Julian

Thanks so much for the confirmation Julian.  We found an image of the ventral view on UK Moths and we found the common name Banana Moth used there as well as on Encyclopedia of Life.

Daniel;
I googled the information you gave me and that is exactly what it is!!  Thank you so much!
Kristy

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Pandorus Sphinx Moth
Location: Forney, TX
May 10, 2016 8:58 am
Found this guy hanging outside my building in Forney, TX. S/he was so pretty that I had to go back out and take a pic.
Signature: Mel

Pandorus Sphinx

Pandorus Sphinx

Dear Mel,
We are very excited to post your image of a Pandorus Sphinx, one of our beautiful native Hawkmoths.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

2007/08/14/indian-moon-moths/Subject: Looks like moth
Location: Rock island, il
May 10, 2016 3:37 am
Found this bug. Not sure what it is
Signature: Barb

Luna MOth

Luna Moth

Dear Barb,
Though it has similar looking relatives in other parts of the world like the Indian Moon Moth, no other North American species looks remotely like your Luna Moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large moth
Location: Panama, Azuero Peninsula
May 8, 2016 4:25 pm
Hello Bugman,
We live in Panama (pacific coast) and a few days ago, after the first rains, this large moth (wing span about 22 cm (8 inch) honored us with a visit. Do you have any idea what family or species this is?
Best regards and many thanks in advance
Signature: Kees and Loes

Giant Silkmoth: Rhescyntis hippodamia norax

Giant Silkmoth: Rhescyntis hippodamia norax

Dear Kees and Loes,
This spectacular Giant Silkmoth from the family Saturniidae is a female
Rhescyntis hippodamia norax, which we identified on the World’s Largest Saturniidae site and then verified on Nature Watch where we learned the species ranges “from Mexico to Brazil.”  The species is also pictured on Costa Rican Moths and on FlickR.  Adult moths from this family do not feed.  They have atrophied mouthparts and they survive off of fat stored by the caterpillar.  Adults usually live less than a week, long enough to mate and lay eggs.

Hi Daniel,
We highly appreciate your very fast identification service and quick reply.
Feel free to use our photograph for your database and other educational uses.
Thank you again.
Loes and Kees

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination