Wasp Moth from Morocco: Amata species

What is this?
Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 6:54 AM
We have recently seen these unusual (to us anyway!) flying insects and would love to know what they are. We spotted them mating on the grass outside our house one day a few weeks ago (mid march), and then saw quite a few of them flying around for the next couple of weeks. Then in the last few days we have seen their corpses lying around. Unfortunately the picture is not too clear as it was taken with the cellphone camera. The closest thing I have been able to find is a polka dot wasp moth. They have a shiny turquoise abdomen wih 3 distinct shiny orange rings around the middle and one around the top of the abdomen. The wings are black and have creamy coloured spots on them. I would love to know what they are!
Agadir, Morocco

Mating Unknown Wasp Moths from Morocco
Mating  Wasp Moths from Morocco:

Beautiful Bug
Sat, Apr 4, 2009 at 8:20 AM
I spotted this beautiful flying insect around middle of march, and have no idea what it is! I noticed they were mating around this time,and then saw quite a few flying around for the next couple of weeks, then they started dying. I am not a bug person at all, but would love to know what this beautiful creature is. Thanks.
Agadir, Morocco

Unknown Wasp Moth from Morocco
Wasp Moth from Morocco is Amata species

Sun, Apr 5, 2009 at 1:33 AM
Is this a Wasp Moth in Morocco?
Agadir, Morocco

Unknown Wasp Moth from Morocco
Amata species is Wasp Moth from Morocco

Hi Trish,
Thanks for your perseverance in sending us three emails. We are happy your subsequent images are clear and focused. Yes, this is a Wasp Moth. Moths in two different families, Sesiidae and Arctiidae (Tribe Euchromiini) are known as Wasp Moths since they mimic the stinging insects, but are themselves harmless. Your moth is in the tribe Euchromiini and we will check with our friend Julian Donahue, an expert in the Arctiidae, to see if he recognizes the species.

Update: Sun, 05 Apr 2009 21:46:25 -0400
It’s a ctenuchine arctiid in the genus Euchromia, but I’ll have to see if I can get a species name at the Museum tomorrow. Not illustrated in any reference I have at hand.

Update: Tue, 07 Apr 2009
Are you sure it is from “Morocco”?? I checked some references at the Museum yesterday, and there is nothing in Africa or the western Palearctic that matches it.
There are, however, some species from the Moluccas (Indonesia) that are similar, such as Euchromia walkeri from Ternate (Moluccas), and the widespread E. creusa from northern Australia, Fiji, New Guinea, Moluccas, Celebes, New Hebrides, Solomon Islands, Palau, and elsewhere in the western Pacific.
Furthermore, since it appears to be a female, it doesn’t exactly match any figures I saw (there is often great sexual dimorphism in this group). Send the specimen and I can perhaps come up with a better name.

Update:  March 24, 2015
Thanks to philbydog who informed us that this is Amata alicia, and we verified that on African Moths.

4 thoughts on “Wasp Moth from Morocco: Amata species”

  1. hello,
    First of all, I have read and understood the previous comments and mails regarding the identification of this arctiid from Morocco.
    Growing in Agadir myself, I have seen these moths quite often in south morocco and nowhere else.
    I beg to differ concerning its identification as Amata alicia. It seems to me that the specimens displayed in the picture are of the Amata mogadorensis species, a species endemic to south Morocco.
    Best regards,
    Ihab HATIM


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