Euonymus Leaf Notcher Moth

Subject:  What’s that bug?
Location:  Virginia
November 3, 2013 11:04:41 AM PST
Dear Bugman,
My husband emailed me this photo of a bug he saw in our yard.  I’ve seen them too, but have no idea what they are.  Can you help us solve the mystery of the fuzzy wasp moth?
A new resident of Virginia

Euonymus Leaf Notcher Moth
Euonymus Leaf Notcher Moth

Dear new resident of Virginia,
Perhaps you didn’t take note of our featured Bug of the Month for November 2013, because if you had, you might have recognized your Euonymus Leaf Notcher Moth, an invasive, exotic species first reported in Maryland in 2001 and first profiled on our site in 2005.  These moths attract attention because they fly in late October and November when few other insects are common.  To the best of our knowledge, the Euonymus Leaf Notcher Moth,
Pryeria sinica, has only spread as far as Maryland and Virgina, though it is expected to expand its range as its preferred larval food plant, Euonymus, is regarded as a significant landscaping plant.  We just returned back to the office after a one week stay with family in Ohio, and we commented to the gardeners in our family that the prevalence of Euonymus in so many gardens might mean that the invasive Euonymus Leaf Notcher Moth would have a plentiful food supply should its range extend further west.  The plants are now a vivid red color and you might check to see if you have any growing in your yard.  If there is a plentiful food supply for the caterpillars, populations can explode and adult moths can be quite numerous.  More information on the Euonymus Leaf Notcher Moth can be found on Invasive Species of Concern in Maryland.  This is our first new posting upon returning to the office after our holiday.

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