Subject: Moth claims strawberry for dinner
Location: Mankato, Minnesota
August 4, 2015 3:47 pm
I captured this moth for identification. He was quite adamant about not wanting to share my strawberry. I thought it resembled a trumpet vine moth. Could you please confirm if I identified it properly?
Signature: Tera Sandon
We disagree with your belief that this is a Trumpet Vine Moth, Clydonopteron sacculana, a species pictured on BugGuide. Rather, we believe it is The Herald, Scoliopteryx libatrix, a species also pictured on BugGuide where it is described as: “Distinctive. Scalloped outer margins of forewing and hindwing. Forewing is gray with wavy lines, has central bright orange patches with metallic flecks.”
Thank you for the prompt reply. I too believe you are right about the identification. The place that I found it was in the strawberries under the white birch. I have two old Poplar trees in the yard and can safely assume that it may have grown up and developed on one of them. I’ll be sad to see those trees taken down next week. How very fascinating to be able to host such beautiful creatures in my yard and gardens. The plethora of insects that visit my yard are too many to count. It’s a site to behold and the only ones that irritate me are the mosquitos. Thanks again for your help in identification.
Hi again Tera,
After creating a new posting for you, we realized we had a UK posting of The Herald as well, and we learned on UK Moths: “Quite a spectacular species, this colourful moth overwinters as an adult, and as a result, can be one of the last species to be seen in one year, and one of the first in the next. It is also sometimes found hibernating inside barns and outbuildings. The adults are attracted to both light and sugar” which probably means that was a very sweet strawberry. They are members of the family Erebidae which includes The Black Witch, Underwing Moths and Fruit Piercing Moths, all long lived representatives of the family.