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

Subject: A new invasive insect on top of the stink bugs we already have…
Location: 20735-1870 [Ed. Note:  Maryland]
January 23, 2013 9:34 am
This past month as the temperatures are dipping below freezing here in Southern Maryland, I noticed that we have gotten another insect that is invading my home on top of the stink bugs that we already have. I want to say its a moth, but I can’t be for certain. They fly pretty slowly and aren’t hard to catch with a sweater either! They hang out on the walls and notice them in my room often, which faces east. Can you identify it and tell me if I need to stock up on my mothballs? Thanks!
Signature: Bonnie

Indian Meal Moth

Hi Bonnie,
This is an Indian Meal Moth,
Plodia interpunctella, a common household pest.  Adults are just an annoyance and they will not harm your clothes.  The caterpillars feed on stored grain products.  We would urge you to clean out the pantry.  Pay special attention to an old box of cornmeal or pancake mix that is in the back of the cupboard.  Fumigation won’t do much good since you need to get at the food source to eliminate the problem.

Thanks!!! What a fast reply too! I’ve cleaned the cabinets of these old boxes of cereal, so that should help!
Best Regards,

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: moth found in south africa
Location: South Africa
January 20, 2013 12:37 pm
I found this moth in my house in south africa and friends have different opinions of what it is, can you maybe help?
Signature: Michelle

Cape Hawkmoth

Hi Michelle,
This is a Sphinx Moth or Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae, and we thought we would have an easy time with an identification when we found the BioDiversity Explorer page on Sphingidae from South Africa, but alas, there was no matching thumbnail.  We dug a bit deeper into the site and found images of mounted specimens of
Theretra capensis that seemed like a good match.  We found a photo of a living specimen on African Moths and the common name Cape Hawk was provided.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Lost Lepidoptera
Location: Kentville, Nova Scotia, Canada
January 18, 2013 8:16 am
I rescued this Lep from in-between two sets of doors on my way into work and set it outside. I’ve never see a moth (butterfly?) this beautiful in our area. Any idea what it is?
Signature: Joanna

Polyphemus Moth

Dear Joanna,
This is a female Polyphemus Moth and this is a very unseasonal time of year for a sighting in Canada.  We can only speculate that the cocoon was somehow accidentally brought indoors, perhaps on a Christmas Tree, and the warmth caused the cocoon to hatch prematurely.

Thanks for the reply.  I realised after I sent the request that I probably should have mentioned that it was a picture I took over a year ago, before I realised there were sites where you could submit I.D. requests!  So thank you for the I.D.

Hi Joanna,
Thanks for the clarification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange Bug in my veranda
Location: India
January 17, 2013 7:05 am
I found this strange bug between my flower pots in the eve ! Dunno wat its called but am curious !u
Signature: Creepyluv

Unknown Moth

Dear Creepyluv,
This is a Moth, but we are uncertain of the family.  Though it superficially resembles a Sphinx Moth or Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae, the antennae are too hairlike for that to be the correct family.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to write in with a correct identification.

Karl provides an identification: Carpenter Moth
Hi Daniel and Creepyluv:
It is a Carpenter Moth (Cossidae) in the subfamily Zeuzerinae and genus Xyleutes, probably X. persona. The species can be found throughout much of south and southeast Asia, from India to Papua New Guinea and possibly Australia. The larvae are wood borers but the species does not appear to be a significant threat to forestry or agriculture. Regards.  Karl

Thanks so much for your assistance Karl.  While unsuccessfully searching for an identity, we tried locating images of Wood Moths from India with no luck.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: clearwing moth
Location: Mountain Pine Ridge, Belize, Central America
January 15, 2013 4:52 pm
I photographed this clearwing moth at 1000 foot falls overlook on December 27, 2012. Our guide was sure it was a wasp and wouldn’t come close. Everyone in our party agreed it was lepidoptera with the antenna and proboscis. I have been told it is probably iin the trichura family. Thank you for any help
Signature: Karen Saxton

Wasp Mimic Moth

Hi Karen,
You are correct.  This is a moth, and we suspect it is in the family Sesiidae, the Clearwing Wasp Moths, but we would not totally rule out that it might be one of the wasp mimics in the Arctiinae, more specifically the Ctenuchina.  That pseudo-stinger is quite the mimicry adaptation.  It looks very similar to the mounted specimen of
Isanthrene azia (?) that is on the Moths of Belize website, but that individual is lacking the pseudo-stinger.  We will contact Arctiid expert Julian Donahue to get his opinion.

Clearwing Wasp Moth

Julian Donahue responds
Ctenuchid for sure. Members of the genus Trichura appear to mimic Pepsis tarantula wasps, with that posterior appendage that looks like the trailing legs of a wasp. About 15 species are currently placed in Trichura, some without the terminal appendage (but maybe described from specimens that had lost it?), but this one is most likely T. cerberus (which is supposed to have a wider forewing discal bar than shows in the photo) or T. druryi, originally described as lacking the caudal appendage, both of which occur in Central America. As in most ctenuchid genera, this genus has not been subject to a modern taxonomic revision.
Curiously, the sesiid genus Alcathoe has a similar caudal appendage, and also mimics Pepsis wasps.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Sci-fi moth
Location: Glenwood, Durban [Ed. Note:  South Africa]
January 11, 2013 12:50 pm
Hi, I found this moth a few years ago at my home in Glenwood, Durban. Never been able to find it in a book on bugs. Any idea?
Signature: Ash

Coffee Bean Hawkmoth

Dear Ash,
This stunning creature is a Coffee Bean Hawkmoth or Oriental Bee Hawkmoth,
Cephanodes hylas, according to the BioDiversity Explorer website which states:  “This is one of the three main species of hawkmoth that are active in the daytime, the other two species being Macroglossum trochilus and Leucostrophus hirundo” though it is unclear which location that statement is made regarding since the Coffee Bean Hawkmoth ranges in “Africa south of the Sahara, Asia and Australia.”

Wow Daniel,
thanks for the prompt reply!  I thought it might be a Clearwing Moth – they seem so similar. But I’ve just found the exact same one as mine under Hawkmoth!
I see my image can be found on google now. Would you mind terribly putting this one up instead? It has my copyright on it.  I’ll change the name on my site.
Many thanks again!

We have replaced the image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination