Subject: Looper Moth on Sedum at Mom’s?
Location: Faribault County, Minnesota
September 21, 2016 3:52 pm
Greetings, WTB Volunteers!
My Test Message went through! WooHoo! So I’m hoping this query I’ve been trying forever to send will make it as well.
Our Autumn flowers are beginning to bloom, which of course includes sedum. While most sedum are not native to MN, Dad had a fondness for them so several varieties are in Mom’s garden. Like prairie liatris, sedum are pollinator magnets. Late one afternoon at the end of August 2016, I was taking photos and noticed a moth I’ve not seen before. Gorgeous thing, which of course does not necessarily mean it’s an insect we want around. Years ago I a very large and absolutely stunning moth in my garden near the iris. (I took pictures I can send if you like). I put two and two together and discovered it was the adult of the Iris Borer. Beautiful markings, reminiscent of Native American cave paintings! Still, not a moth one wants if one hopes to grow iris!
Anyway, this most recent “new” moth has the outline of a star on its back with two prominent spots along the lower edges of the star. In profile, it has prominent ridges with arise from its shoulders and back. Quite stunning to see, and was feasting quite happily on the sedum blossoms. Even the bees did not deter this moth!
I’ve not seen a moth such as this, certainly not to photograph, so I’m excited to add this to my sightings list! The little bit of research I’ve been able to do gets me as far as a possible Looper Moth, but then I get stuck. So many Looper Moths! Can you help me narrow it down?
Blessings one and all!
Signature: Wanda J. Kothlow
We are not going to be much help. So many Looper Moths in the Subfamily Plusiinae, which is well represented on BugGuide, look very similar. Some possibilities are that it is in the genus Autographa, which is pictured on BugGuide.
Well, Daniel, that helps explain why I was having difficulty with an ID. I’ll just refer to it as “Looper Moth A” until I have more information!
Thanks so much, Daniel.