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

Subject: moth/wasp?
Location: Suburbs of Indianapolis
June 28, 2016 3:48 pm
I’d love help identifying this insect. It reminds me of a Scarlett Bodied Wasp Moth, but the coloring is a bit off. He lives somewhere in my backyard in Indianapolis, Indiana and frequents my vegetable garden.
Sorry the photos are grainy, he’s very fast.
Signature: Lauren G

Squash Vine Borer

Squash Vine Borer

Dear Lauren,
You were astute to suspect that though it is an effective wasp mimic, your Squash Vine Borer,
Melittia cucurbitae, is actually a moth, however it is from a different family than the Scarlet Bodied Wasp Moth which is a Tiger Moth.  Your Squash Vine Borer is a Clearwing Moth in the family Sesiidae.  The individual in your image appears to be hovering near some squash leaves, probably to lay eggs.  The larva are stem borers and they may seriously compromise the yield of the plants in your garden.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth identification?
Location: Southeastern Alabama
June 24, 2016 5:34 pm
Found this little guy parked below my mailbox this afternoon.
Signature: Kyle

Sweetbay Silkmoth, perhaps

Sweetbay Silkmoth, perhaps

Dear Kyle,
This is one of the Giant Silkmoths in the genus
Callosamia.  We believe it is the Sweetbay Silkmoth, Callosamia securifera, and according to BugGuide:  “This species is subject to some seasonal variation. Typically, the Spring forms are lighter and brighter and the summer generations are usually darker and/or more washed out in appearance.”

Bill Oehlke weighs in on identification:
Could be either angulifera or securifera. If encountered flying during the day, this male would definitely be securifera.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: large moth, approx. 2 inch wing span
Location: Northeast Pennsylvania
June 25, 2016 7:00 pm
found this on our slider, my husband knocked it off and it revealed inside wings..very pretty. We live in Effort, PA, Monroe County and it is summer time..June 25, 2016. Thinking it might be an Imperial moth, would appreciate further identification. After it was still, not moving, on the deck for a while, it moved to the bottom of the slider, then it’s wings started fluttering and then it took off.
Signature: Christine

Male Io Moth

Male Io Moth

Dear Christine,
This is a male Io Moth and your images nicely illustrate its protective mimicry.  Many Giant Silkmoths in the family Saturniidae, including your Io Moth, and some Sphinx Moths in the family Sphingidae have evolved an excellent survival strategy.  Markings on the underwings resemble eyespots and are known as ocelli.  When the moth is resting, the upper wings cover the underwings.  When disturbed, the moth reveals its underwings, flashing its eyes, potentially startling a predator like a bird into thinking it has awakened a sleeping giant.  Io Moths have also evolved to exhibit sexual dimorphism, meaning the two sexes have obvious visible differences.  Female Io Moths have brown upper wings.

Male Io Moth

Male Io Moth

Thank you very much for the information Daniel!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Horned spanworm moth and large maple spanworm moth
Location: Troy, VA
June 26, 2016 11:02 am
Given my horrible guess on the last moth, I hesitate to say I know what these are, but I spent a lot of time at the Discover Life website comparing photos, so I can say with reasonable certainty that I have a photo of a horned spanworm moth. I’m not quite as certain about the large maple spanworm moth, but I found images that were very similar so I’m going to give it an 85% certainty. Fingers crossed. I do love their amazing leaf mimicry.
thanks
Signature: Grace Pedalino

Possibly Horned Spanworm Moth

Possibly Horned Spanworm Moth

Dear Grace,
Leaf-mimicking, brownish Spanworm Moths in the family Geometridae can be extremely difficult to identify to the species level, and we often avoid such specifics, preferring a general family identification.  We agree that one of your moths is possibly the Horned Spanworm Moth,
Nematocampa resistaria, based on images posted to BugGuide.  We are not convinced that your second moth is a Large Maple Spanworm.  We believe it looks more like the Curve-Toothed Geometer, Eutrapela clemataria, a species also pictured on BugGuide.  In both cases, we wish someone with more experience determining the species of Spanworm moths would weigh in on an identification.

Possibly Curve-Toothed Geometer

Possibly Curve-Toothed Geometer

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: interesting flying red-orange bug with blue/grey vest
Location: Wisconsin, USA
June 26, 2016 9:32 pm
Hello bugman!
I encountered this guy earlier today buzzing around my milkweed and cucumbers. He was moving pretty quick just like the bees around him.
He/she was approximately 3/4″ long. Red orange in color with bright blue stripes closer the head. I’ve never seen another bug like it.
Asked a few friends and everyone is perplexed and very curious to know.
Thanks for your time. Can’t wait to find out what it might be!
Signature: Kelly

Squash Vine Borer

Squash Vine Borer

Dear Kelly,
This Squash Vine Borer is a moth from the family Sesiidae, a group that contains moths that benefit from their ability to mimic stinging wasps.  Your individual was visiting the milkweed to take nourishment from the nectar, but we believe this is a female due to her interest in the cucumbers.  She was probably laying eggs that will hatch into larvae that bore in the stems of squash and other plants in the family Cucurbitaceae, potentially causing the plants to die or at least reduce the yield.

Thank you so much for your quick response! I would have never guessed it was a vine borer! I will have to get out there and inspect my cucumber plant. It was a beautiful bug though. Too bad they are destructive.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: moths
Location: South West New Mexico
June 25, 2016 12:10 pm
What is this large (about 6″, 15.24cm across) moth?
Signature: Susana Murphy

Big Poplar Sphinx

Big Poplar Sphinx

Dear Susana,
This lovely moth is most likely a Big Poplar Sphinx,
Pachysphinx occidentalis, based on images posted to the Sphingidae of the Americas site, though we would not rule out that it might be the closely related Modest Sphinx, Pachysphinx modesta, also pictured on Sphingidae of the Americas and also found in New Mexico.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination