Currently viewing the category: "Moths"

Hummingbird Moth
When we first spotted this moth, we thought we were watching a baby hummingbird. I was curious about the legs and antennae and started doing some research. I still have not been able to locate a species that matches this one yet. Perhaps you can help identify. Moth was photographed feeding on creeping phlox in Granite Falls , North Carolina.
Thanks,
Greg Good

Dear Greg Good,
It looks to me like a Nessus Sphinx, Amphion nessus. The indicating features are the small head, and plump body. Also the two white stripes on the abdomen and the tuft at the tip. According to Holland: “It ranges from Canada to Georgia and westward to Wyoming. It flies in the daytime on cloudy days and in the late afternoon before sunset. The caterpillar feeds on Ampelopsis and the wild grape.”

Hello-
I have these very strange bug/cocoon things hanging all over the outside of my house, and they are on the inside of the porch. The just appear to hang there, and occasionally they must move, but I have never seen them move. I have attached several pictures of them on the porch. We live in South Florida and they are here all year. Any input would be appreciated.
Best Regards,
Daniel Foster

Dear Daniel,
Sorry for the delay in answering. You have a type of Casebearer, Family Coleophoridae. This is a type of moth which forms a case in the larval stage and pupation occurs in the case. They are often pests on apple and other fruit trees.

Dear Bug Man,
My son found some Hickory Tussock caterpillars last fall, which he put in his "bug box". We fed them and provided mulch, etc. One died, but the other survived and has been in its cocoon all winter. I have read they emerge in May or June. Is there any special care once they emerge and how soon should it be let out? And do these moths cause alot of damage to trees?
Thank you,
Judy

Dear Judy,
The Hickory Tussock Moth, Halisidota caryae, rarely is plentiful enough to do major damage to the Hickory trees it feeds upon. The adults, like many Tiger Moths, do not feed as adults. You can release the moth after its wings have fully expanded. It will fly when it is ready.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Vicki wrote to us about Stoneflies and included this intriguing bit of information: "The highlight of my day, though (other than seeing an otter) was finding a cocoon of a Polyphemus Moth, which I took a picture of and left to dangle patiently on its limb for a few more months." We requested that she send the photo.

More than happy to. This cocoon is hanging right over the creek (Tuckahoe Creek on the Eastern Shore of Maryland). Hopefully when the moth emerges, he’ll crawl UP.

Yesterday, I spotted what i thought was a hummingbird around my jasmine tree. Upon closer inspection it appeared to be a moth. The most identifiable featurewas it’s extremely bright solid orange wings. It’s body was a blueish purple color with some white markings. I have not been able to identify it on any websites. I will have my camera ready tomorrow. Thank you for your help. I live in South Florida.
Jim Harhart

Dear Jim,
We would love to have that photo if possible. I’m guessing a member of the genus Errinyis, with many members living in Florida. Their upper wings are usually grey, but the lower wings are bright orange. The bodies are often marked with white. My best guess is Errinyis ello. Its caterpillars feed on guava, poinsettia, myrtle and other plants. Here is an image I located online.

Ok this one is really gross. I live in Singapore. A couple of days ago, I looked down and saw this flattened rice krispie looking thing on my floor. I looked closer and it was moving. A tiny little brown head looking thing came out and helped it inch along. That head like thing could come out either end. The "casing" whatever it was looked like a whitich rice krispie. I think it was something the thing had excreted. I think it is a worm inside but I am not sure. Maybe it is something in its larva stage. Do you know what this sick looking thing is?
wendi in Singapore

Dear Wendy in Singapore,
There are certain moths that have a caterpillar that spins a cocoon like case that they live in. They can drag the case around. sounds like that is what you saw. The family, called Casebearers, is Coleophoridae.

thank you so much. It is difficult to find pictures but I did find one that is similar of the one that eats Larch. The one here is whiter casing but I think you are correct. I really appreciate your reply.
wendi m