Harris's Three Spot

Can you identify this moth?
July 24, 2009
Dear Bugman,
My Mother who lives in Barnum, MN (located in-between Duluth and Hinckley on I-35) sent me this photo Thursday night. She lives in a very small town of about 300 people she lives on a private lake in a wooded area. The moth was hanging out on the garage at about 9:30 at night. I have spent all day Friday trying to identify it. I am having no luck. My children and I walked up to our library located a block away and got 4 butterfly/moth identification books…but this moth is still a mystery to us. I have looked in your postings of moths and can’t seem to find one that looks like it. I am now obsessed in trying to identify this moth. Can you please help me out? Thanks so much for your time,
Heidi and Family
Central Minnesota

Harris's Three Spot
Harris's Three Spot

Dear Heidi and Family,
We were very concerned that you might be neglecting your family or job or both in an attempt to identify your Harris’s Three Spot, so we spared no amount of time trying to research the subject ourselves.  We located your Owlet Moth, the Harris’s Three Spot, Harrisimemna trisignata, on BugGuide, but there was not much information on the species which is found over much of the Eastern part of North America according to the data map on BugGuideLynne Scott’s Lepidoptera site has some information on the species including that the caterpillars “have been reported to feed on a variety of trees and shrubs, including viburnum, lilac, ash, willow, winterberry (Ilex verticillata) and blueberry.

Thanks so much for the reply.  The kids (ages 9 and 5) and I have enjoyed trying to find the Harris’s Three Spot (we’ll never forget it).  Actually we are having lots of fun identifying bugs in our yard this summer.  We live in Des Moines, IA and have watched several Cicada’s emerge and have also watched Monarch butterflies during metamorphism and have tagged them for the migration unfortunately none of our butterflies have been recovered.  We also have preying mantis and have fun finding out about them…we have lots of egg sacks on our chain link fence; of course they are all hatched now.  So this was a fun dayJ  I’m so glad you were able to identify it for us, hope it wasn’t too easy!  We love your web site and I have also shared it with their teachers at school (they go to a parochial school).  I’ll be sure to buy 3 copies of your book; one for our family, one for my parents and one for the library at school when it is published.
Thanks again so much for your time
Heidi, kids and Mom

Thanks for your kind response Heidi,
Since getting our new computer, we have been posting so many letters we have been neglecting the book, but we expect to delve into that full bore soon.

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