Currently viewing the category: "Prominent Moths"

Subject: Black Rimmed Prominent
Location: Mancelona, MI
June 29, 2014 5:37 pm
This distinctly-patterned moth is the Black Rimmed Prominent (Pheosia rimosa). It can be found throughout North America. Evidently there’s another color morph, with a darker pattern, that was formerly considered a different species–you can see it on Bugguide. The young feed on aspen and willows. This adult showed up on a window after a warm late-June night.
Signature: Helen

Black Rimmed Prominent

Black Rimmed Prominent

Hi again Helen,
Thanks for continuing to provide moth images lacking in our archives.  According to BugGuide:  “”Caterpillar resembles young hornworm caterpillars. Color may be yellow, lavender, pink, green, brown or nearly black. Skin is very shiny. Black horn on last abdominal segment and hard red-edged anal plate.

Subject: White-Spotted Prominent
Location: Mancelona, MI
June 27, 2014 7:48 pm
This absurdly lovely moth is the Nadata gibbosa, or White-spotted prominent. (It’s not the Nadata oregonensis–Michigan is well out of the range of that look-alike.) This particular one was perched on a bracken fern in a deciduous forest. Yet another of our many recent visitors here just outside Mancelona, Michigan. It’s about 3.8-5.9 cm–thus says Bugguide.
Signature: Helen

White Spotted Prominent Moth

White Dotted Prominent Moth

Hi again Helen,
We fully appreciate the time investment that goes into identifying the incredibly diverse number of brown moths that can be found in North America, and we often never drill down to the species level when we write back to people, hence many moths on our site are identified only to the family level because that is all that time allows.  Thanks again for the research and the excellent image of
Nadata gibbosa, which according to BugGuide is commonly called the White Dotted Prominent Moth, not the White Spotted Prominent Moth as you have indicated.  BugGuide also states it is called the Green Oak Caterpillar Moth. 

Subject: Brown Moth Attack!
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
October 14, 2013 6:55 pm
Hello Bugman,
Lately, my school and my house have been infested with these interesting small brown moths. They are around two centimeters wide resting and have feathery antennae. I have looked on the internet and can’t figure out what they are! There are thousands of them all over the oak trees. Please help me solve this mystery!
Signature: Sidney

California Oak Moth

California Oak Moth

Hi Sidney,
Thank you for including the information about the oak trees, as that helped us to quickly locate the identity of the California Oak Moth,
Phryganidia californica, by matching to this photo on BugGuide.  Only the males have the feathery antennae.  According to BugGuide, there are:  “Two generations per year in northern California; sometimes a third generation in southern California. Overwinters as a larva on underside of oak leaf. Populations are cyclic: larvae are common in some years, and virtually absent in others.”  The caterpillar is known as the California Oakworm, and according to the UC Davis Integrated Pest Management System:  “The California oakworm (Phryganidia californica, family Dioptidae) is one of many species of caterpillars that feeds on oaks. It is the most important oak-feeding caterpillar throughout its range, which extends along the coast and through the coastal mountains of California. Damage is most common on coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia) in the San Francisco Bay and Monterey Bay regions. Populations vary unpredictably year to year from very high to undetectably low. Healthy oaks generally tolerate extensive loss of leaves (defoliation) without serious harm, so treatment to control oakworms usually is not recommended.”  This must be one of those plentiful years.

California Oak Moth

California Oak Moth

Thank you so much!! 🙂

Subject: butterfly in farm garden
Location: Battle Ground, WA
June 24, 2013 4:39 pm
I know the Xerces Society put out a rare alert for a checkered butterfly. I remembered I took this photo of one and also saw more underneath the tall mints on our organic farm. Can you help me identify this one?
I’m including a few more that I’m unfamiliar with.
Thanks for your help.
Signature: Jacqueline Freeman

Prominent Moth:  Nadata oregonensis

Prominent Moth: Nadata oregonensis

Dear Jacqueline,
Your butterfly image did not attach.  We just posted a photo of this Prominent Moth,
Nadata oregonensis, from Seattle and we didn’t regognize it.  We got some assistance in its identification from our readership.  The final insect is a species of Crane Fly.

Subject: Moth identification
Location: Pacific Northwest
June 23, 2013 8:02 pm
Can you help me identify this lovely lady? I thought she was a cocoon of some sort until I got up close to her. It was not until after I snapped the photo and zoomed in on her that I realized the reason for her extreme stillness, notice the tiny green eggs she is laying. Photo taken by me, approximately 6 PM, 06/23/2013, Seattle, WA. Coincidentally, the evening of the supermoon!
Signature: Sincerely, K. P. Sullivan

Unknown Moth lays eggs

Prominent Moth lays eggs

Dear K.P. Sullivan,
We didn’t think this would be a difficult identification, however, we were not successful at getting an identification.  We aren’t even certain of the family.  Perhaps one of our readers will post a comment today and help us successfully provide you with an identification.

W.C. Eddie provides an identification:  Prominent Moth
See BugGuide for information on Nadata oregonensis.

Subject: Erbessa regis???
Location: Amazon Manu Lodge, Madre de Dios, Peru
March 14, 2013 3:41 pm
Hi again!
Another Peruvian moth. Found a look-alike on the internet, Erbessa regis, but mine is much paler! Can the Erbessa regis be this pale?? Or is it another species?? Please help me out!
Photo taken November 10, 2009.
Signature: Kristian

Royal Erbessa, we suppose

Royal Erbessa, we suppose

Hi Kristian,
Your moth looks very similar to the Royal Erbessa posted on the Moths of the Andes website, except for the paler coloration.  We hope your realize that we run our website as a labor of love and that there are no entomologists, nor anyone with a credible scientific background on our staff.  If you want definite and accurate species identifications for your numerous and lovely photographs, we strongly urge you to seek professional assistance.  Meanwhile, we will continue to post as many of your photos as possible, but we cannot be held responsible for any misidentifications our staff provides.  Our main mission is to share our appreciation of the lower beasts with our readership and also to stress the interconnectivity of all life forms on our fragile planet.  We are often content with providing a family identification.  As you are probably well aware, getting accurate species identification from the internet can often be a laborious and unfulfilling task since there is a proliferation of erroneous information on the internet.  Perhaps one of our readers with a greater knowledge of Andean moths will write in with a comment confirming or correcting your identification.