Subject: Malformed moth?
Geographic location of the bug: Midway Utah – on the WOW trail
Time: 12:38 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: We found this little guy crawling around while biking. It looks like he didn’t develop properly. Can you tell what species it might be? And what would cause it to grow so poorly?
How you want your letter signed: JAB
This is a Buck Moth in the genus Hemileuca that has just emerged from the pupa and its wings have not yet expanded. There are at least eight species in Utah in the genus.
2 thoughts on “Newly emerged Buck Moth”
What could cause a moth’s wings to stay like this and never expand? We had several catalpa worms pupating in an aquarium and all emerged like this photo, but the wings stayed small. There was a dish of water in the tank. We did see wasps buzzing around the caterpillars in the tree before they came down to the ground.
We don’t know for certain, but we suspect it is related to some trauma during captivity.