Subject: Unknown Moth
Geographic location of the bug: Olympia, Washington
Time: 10:46 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: I am normally very knowledgeable when it comes to insect identification. However, my friend sent me this image and it has me stumped. I know for sure that it is some type of moth, but beyond that, I’m at a loss.
How you want your letter signed: Micah
This sure looks to us like a Tiger Moth in the subfamily Arctiinae, but we cannot locate any similar looking moths on the Pacific Northwest Moths site nor on BugGuide’s images of North American Tiger Moths. It is possible we have the subfamily incorrect, but it is still not pictured on the former site. We have written to Arctiid expert Julian Donahue and we are still waiting to hear back from him. Until then, we will tag it as unidentified.
Facebook Comment from Joan Brehm Rickert:
Looks like a Small Magpie Moth. Anania hortulata. They are present in that area.
Thanks to that comment, we have verified the identity is correct on BugGuide where it states: “native to Eurasia, North American distribution seems patchy and not well known (as of May 2013, BugGuide has photos from British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ontario, Quebec, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia). Any additional info appreciated.”