Currently viewing the category: "Moths"

Subject:  Lime Hawk moth?
Geographic location of the bug:  Knightdale NC
Date: 08/19/2021
Time: 07:55 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This is supposed to be indigenous to the UK.
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks

Pandorus Sphinx

You are correct that the Lime Hawkmoth is native to Europe, but this is not a Lime Hawkmoth.  It is a native Pandorus Sphinx.  Nonetheless, there is an introduced population of Lime Hawkmoths in North America, with many Canadian sightings.

Subject:  Striped Hawkmoth
Geographic location of the bug:  Chicopee, MA USA
Date: 08/17/2021
Time: 11:37 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi,
This little guy or gal was zipping around the yard tonight. I am guessing it’s a Striped Hawkmoth, correct? Are they becoming more common for this area?
How you want your letter signed:  Kristi

Bedstraw Hawkmoth

Dear Kristi,
This is a Hawkmoth, but a different species.  This is a Bedstraw Hawkmoth and you can verify our ID on Sphingidae of the Americas where it states that it:  “ranges coast to coast in Canada (into the Yukon) and southward along the Rocky Mountains into Mexico. It is also widely distributed throughout Europe and Asia.”  Your action photo is stunning.

Subject:  Moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Nc
Date: 08/14/2021
Time: 09:36 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Do you know what this is?
How you want your letter signed:  Pamela Grissom

Banded Sphinx

Dear Pamela,
This is a Banded Sphinx,
Eumorpha fasciatus.  According to BugGuide:  “Strong white bands on wings. Brown band on costa (leading edge of forewing) distinguishes from the similar, less widespread, Vine Sphinx, E. vitis.”

Subject:  It’s a Luna
Geographic location of the bug:  Woodsfield Ohio
Date: 08/02/2021
Time: 12:44 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I already identified these two, but I wanted to share them as we recently purchased the property where I saw them.
How you want your letter signed:  Xero

Luna Moths

Dear Xero,
You are so fortunate to have purchased a property that is home to Luna Moths.  According to BugGuide:  “The caterpillars eat a variety of trees including white birch (
Betula papyrifera), persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua), hickories (Carya), walnuts (Juglans), pecans, and sumacs (Rhus).”  We suspect one or more of those trees are growing on your property.  Daniel is in Ohio for two more weeks and he is hoping he will have the opportunity to finally witness a Luna Moth in the wild.  There is a persimmon tree on the property that was planted long after Daniel moved away in 1979, so perhaps this year he will get lucky,

Subject:  Luna Moth 2.0
Geographic location of the bug:  Woodsfield Ohio
Date: 08/04/2021
Time: 03:05 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this guy in my front yard today. Looks like he’s been through hell with the birds around here. He’s still a wonderful site to behold and I’m glad that the Luna’s around here have decided to shelter around my house.
(No i.d. Necessary reposted here to attach pic)
How you want your letter signed:  Xero

Luna Moth

Dear Xero,
Thanks so much for sending in your image of a very tattered female Luna Moth.  Her narrow antennae indicate she is a female.  We hope she mated and laid at least some of her several hundred eggs.  Daniel is currently in Ohio and he hopes he has an opportunity to observe a Luna Moth in the wild, something he has never yet experienced. 

Subject:  What’s this bug
Geographic location of the bug:  North central New Mexico
Date: 07/31/2021
Time: 03:46 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We live in the high plains east of Albuquerque and found this stranger in our covered entry. Any idea what it is?
How you want your letter signed:  Jane

Plume Moth

Out Automated Response:  Thank you for submitting your identification request.
Please understand that we have a very small staff that does this as a labor of love. We cannot answer all submissions (not by a long shot). But we’ll do the best we can!

I can only imagine! Thank you for your interest — if you get to our insect, we’ll be thrilled. If not, we’ll keep trying to find out ourselves!
Thank you!

Dear Cheryl,
Many folks who write to us wanting a Plume Moth in the family Pterophoridae identified frequently refer to them as “T-Bugs“.  According to the Missouri Department of Conservation:  “Plume moths are instantly recognizable by their T-shaped silhouette and muted shades of tan and brown. At rest, the moths hold their wings tightly rolled, but when they are spread, the deeply cleft slits in the wing margins that create the feathery plumes are visible. These moths are slim and delicate-looking, with a long, thin abdomen and extremely long, fragile legs. Their flight is weak and fluttery. It can be hard to distinguish among the many species of plume moths.”