Banana Moth from Canada is really from Costa Rica

Subject: What’s this Insect?
Location: Alberta Canada possibly Costa Rica
May 7, 2016 7:57 pm
We found this in a box of bananas that came from Costa Rica today and we cant figure out exactly what it is or if it came from there or here (Alberta Canada) Any help would be appreciated. The pic is the underside of it.
Signature: Kristy

Tiger Moth
Banana Moth

Dear Kristy,
This image has been open on our desktop for the past week as we have tried unsuccessfully to provide you with a species identification.  This looks to us like a Tiger Moth in the subtribe Ctenuchina to us.  We do not believe it is not a native species, but we wish you had been able to provide us with a dorsal view as most online images of moths are dorsal views.  We browsed through images from the subtribe Ctenuchina on BugGuide, but we could not find a conclusive match.  We will attempt to contact Lepidopterist Julian Donahue who is an expert in Tiger Moths to see if he can provide an ID.

Julian Donahue Responds
This is indeed a ctenuchid (or as currently classified, Erebidae: Arctiinae: tribe Arctiini, subtribe Ctenuchina): a fresh male Antichloris viridis Druce, newly emerged from its cocoon that accompanied bananas (its larval hostplant) imported from tropical America. In his 1975 paper Field reported examining specimens from numerous localities in the United States, three records from England, one from Germany, and two from British Columbia, Canada (Kaslo and Victoria). The native range of this species is from central or southern Mexico south through Central America to Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador.
This may be a new record for Alberta, however, so I am copying this to a couple of colleagues in that province.
Best wishes from the glorious Sonoran Desert, where the saguaros are now blooming on our property,

Thanks so much for the confirmation Julian.  We found an image of the ventral view on UK Moths and we found the common name Banana Moth used there as well as on Encyclopedia of Life.

I googled the information you gave me and that is exactly what it is!!  Thank you so much!

Leave a Comment