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*** Note: KnowYourInsects.org does its best to include correct identifications of insect photos. It’s always possible that we made a mistake, however, so if you see a misidentification, please contact us and we will correct it. Thanks!

Order Lepidoptera: the butterflies and moths — Examples
Butterflies (adult)
Moths (adult)
Caterpillars and Pupae (moth and butterfly)

Butterflies (adult)
Families represented below:
Hesperiidae (the skippers)
Lycaenidae (the coppers)
Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies)
Papilionidae (the swallowtails)
Pieridae (the whites, yellows and sulphurs)

Papilionidae, the swallowtails

Anise Swallowtail (<i>Papilio zelicaon</i>)
Anise Swallowtail, Papilio zelicaon, subfamily Papilioninae, family Papilionidae (the swallowtails).
□ This butterfly gets its name from what its caterpillars like to eat: the fennel plant, which also known as wild anise.
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 20 July, 2016.
Palamedes Swallowtail (<i>Papilio palamedes</i>)
Palamedes Swallowtail, Papilio palamedes, subfamily Papilioninae, family Papilionidae (the swallowtails).
□ The Palamedes Swallowtail has a distinctive striped body. In this photo, its straw-like proboscis is extended to draw up nectar from the flowers. When not in use, the proboscis is coiled up.
Photographed and identified to family by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina, USA. Date: 31 August, 2017.
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Giant Swallowtail (<i>Papilio cresphontes</i>)
Giant Swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes, subfamily Papilioninae, family Papilionidae (the swallowtails).
□ The caterpillars of this species are called "orangedogs" because they have a penchant for citrus leaves.
Photographed by: Barb Bradley. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: near Dexter, Michigan, Washtenaw County, Michigan, USA. Date: 28 August, 2013.
Giant Swallowtail (<i>Papilio cresphontes</i>)
Giant Swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes, subfamily Papilioninae, family Papilionidae (the swallowtails).
□ The undersides of the Giant Swallowtail’s wings (shown here) and the body are mainly this pale-yellow color. Compare the body in particular with that of the Palamedes Swallowtail, which is pictured elsewhere on this page.
Photographed and identified to family by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina, USA. Date: 31 August, 2017.
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Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (<i>Papilio glaucus</i>)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio glaucus, subfamily Papilioninae, family Papilionidae (the swallowtails).
□ Eastern Tiger Swallowtails are found in the central and eastern United States. Other than their location, they are difficult to distinguish from Western Tiger Swallowtails, which are seen in the following photos.
Photographed by: Gene Fleszar. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Finland Gardens, Livonia, Michigan, USA. Date: July 2013.
Western Tiger Swallowtail (<i>Papilio rutulus</i>)
Western Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio rutulus, subfamily Papilioninae, family Papilionidae (the swallowtails).
Western Tiger Swallowtails are found in the western half of the United States, and extend a bit into far southwestern Canada and far northwestern Mexico. (The underside of wings are shown in next photo.)
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 22 May, 2017.
Western Tiger Swallowtail (<i>Papilio rutulus</i>)
Western Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio rutulus, subfamily Papilioninae, family Papilionidae (the swallowtails).
□ Due to the pale yellow coloration of this specimen, it’s possible that this is a hybrid between a Western Tiger Swallowtail and a Pale Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio eurymedon).
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 22 May, 2017.
Black Swallowtail (<i>Papilio polyxenes</i>)
Black Swallowtail, male, Papilio polyxenes, subfamily Papilioninae, family Papilionidae (the swallowtails).
□ Each of the male Black Swallowtail’s upper forewings has two prominent lines of yellow markings and each hind wing has minimal blue splotches at its base. Compare to the female in the next photo.
Photographed and identified to family by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina, USA. Date: 31 August, 2017.
Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)
Black Swallowtail, female, Papilio polyxenes, subfamily Papilioninae, family Papilionidae (the swallowtails).
□ One of the features of the Black Swallowtail is the detail in the large red eyespot on each hind wing: It has a little black dot in the center. Other dark swallowtails share the same habitat with the Black Swallowtail — including the dark form (or morph) of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and the Spicebush Swallowtail — and have a similar appearance, but they do not have a black dot in the center of the red eyespot.
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina, USA. Date: 31 August, 2017.
Black Swallowtail (<i>Papilio polyxenes</i>)
Black Swallowtail, female, Papilio polyxenes, subfamily Papilioninae, family Papilionidae (the swallowtails).
□ The underside of the Black Swallowtail’s wings differ by sex. The female, shown here, has large and shimmery blue markings on the hind wing between the orange-yellow markings. The male also has blue markings, but they are much less prominent. Both the female and male have a black abdomen dotted with yellow.
Photographed and identified to family by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina, USA. Date: 31 August, 2017.

Nymphalidae, the brush-footed butterflies

Gulf Frittilary (<i>Agraulis vanillae</i>)
Gulf Frittilary, Agraulis vanillae, subfamily Heliconiinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ This gorgeous butterfly only makes its way into the extreme southern United States, but extends through Mexico and Central America into South America.
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 15 August, 2016.
Gulf Frittilary (<i>Agraulis vanillae</i>)
Gulf Frittilary, Agraulis vanillae, subfamily Heliconiinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies), underside of wings.
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 15 August, 2016.
Gulf Frittilary (<i>Agraulis vanillae</i>)
Gulf Frittilary, Agraulis vanillae, subfamily Heliconiinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The Gulf Frittilary is often found on passionflowers, but in this photo, it is shown on bi-color lantana.
Photographed and identified by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Location: Garden City, South Carolina, USA. Date: 31 August, 2017.
Gulf Frittilary (<i>Agraulis vanillae</i>)
Gulf Frittilary, Agraulis vanillae, subfamily Heliconiinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ This butterfly has wings that are just as pretty from the bottom side as they are from the top side!
Photographed and identified by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Location: The Villages, Florida, USA. Date: 1 August, 2017.
Red Lacewing (<i>Cethosia biblis</i>)
Red Lacewing, Cethosia biblis, subfamily Heliconiinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The Red Lacewing is a fairly large butterfly with a wingspan of more than 3 inches (7.6 cm or more).
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org with the help of Florida Museum’s Butterfly Rainforest website. Location: Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum, Gainesville, Florida, USA. Date: 25 May, 2018.
Red Lacewing (<i>Cethosia biblis</i>)
Red Lacewing, Cethosia biblis, subfamily Heliconiinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The Red Lacewing is found in India, as well as much of Southeast Asia and East Asia.
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org with the help of Florida Museum’s Butterfly Rainforest website. Location: Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum, Gainesville, Florida, USA. Date: 25 May, 2018.
Zebra Longwing (Heliconius charithonia)
Zebra Longwing, Heliconius charithonia, subfamily Heliconiinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The adult male of this species can distinguish the pupa of a male from that of a female, based on chemicals emitted by the pupa. Once he knows it’s a female pupa, he will sit right on the pupa, so he can mate with the female as soon as she emerges and sometimes even before she emerges.
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina, USA. Date: 31 August, 2017.
Zebra Longwing (Heliconius charithonia)
Zebra Longwing, Heliconius charithonia, subfamily Heliconiinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The underside of the wings of the Zebra Longwing mimic the stripes on the upper side. In other species, the wings can look considerably different from the upper side to the underside.
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina, USA. Date: 31 August, 2017.
Tiger Longwing (<i>Heliconius hecale</i>)
Tiger Longwing, Heliconius hecale, subfamily Heliconiinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ Females feed on nectar as well as pollen, which is associated with an increased number of eggs. This one could be a male or female. The sexes look similar.
Photographed by: Gene Fleszar. Identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Detroit Zoo Butterfly Garden, Royal Oak, Michigan, USA.
Julia Heliconian or Julia Longwing (<i>Dryas iulia</i>)
Julia Heliconian or Julia Longwing, Dryas iulia, subfamily Heliconiinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The black striping varies considerably among individuals within this species. The males often have small black markings (more small triangles than stripes), so this is likely a female.
Photographed and identified to family by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org Location: Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina, USA. Date: 31 August, 2017.
Small Postman (<i>Heliconius erato</i>)
Small Postman, Heliconius erato, subfamily Heliconiinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The Small Postman is a species with a lot of variation. All are mainly black, but the red patterns are different between individuals, and not all of them have white patches. These photos show this exquisite Small Postman from the top and bottom sides.
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org with the help of Florida Museum’s Butterfly Rainforest website. Location: Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum, Gainesville, Florida, USA. Date: 25 May, 2018.
Lorquin Admiral (<i>Limenitis lorquini</i>)
Lorquin Admiral, Limenitis lorquini, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ This butterfly gets its name from entomologist Pierre Joseph Michel Lorquin, who was originally from France. He traveled the world from 1849-1869, going to northwestern Africa, Spain, China, the Philippines, Southeast Asia, Colombia, New Guinea and the western United States.
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 25 July, 2016.
Lorquin Admiral (<i>Limenitis lorquini</i>)
Lorquin Admiral, Limenitis lorquini, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies), underside of wings.
□ This butterfly is a fighter: The males will defend their territories, not only attacking other intruding males, but also buzzing large birds that venture into their turf.
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 25 July, 2016.
Malachite (<i>Siproeta stelenes</i>)
Malachite (underwings), Siproeta stelenes, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The underwings of the Malachite are quite different from the top (dorsal) side of the wings, as seen in the next photo.
Photographed by: Gene Fleszar. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Detroit Zoo Butterfly Garden, Royal Oak, Michigan, USA.
Malachite (<i>Siproeta stelenes</i>)
Malachite (upper wings), Siproeta stelenes, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ Although yellowish green in this photo, the markings on many Malachites are vivid green. The vivid green is the color of the mineral malachite, which is how this butterfly gets its name.
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina, USA. Date: 31 August, 2017.
Eastern Comma Butterfly (<i>Polygonia comma</i>)
Eastern Comma, Polygonia comma, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The Eastern Comma is very similar to the Question Mark butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis), which often live in the same areas of North America. The Question Mark is pictured elsewhere on this page. There is also a Comma butterfly (Polygonia c-album) that lives in most temperate regions of Europe and Asia, and in northern Africa. All three species have a light-colored, crescent-shaped marking on the underside of each hind wing.
Photographed and identified by: Kelly McKinne (@gonzonaturalist). Location: Perrysburg, Ohio, USA. Date: July, 2015.
Eastern Comma Butterfly (<i>Polygonia comma</i>)
Eastern Comma (underwings), Polygonia comma, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ Look carefully at the hind wing to see if you can spot the silver “comma,” marking, which is why this butterfly is called a Comma. Photographed and identified by: Kelly McKinne (@gonzonaturalist). Location: Perrysburg, Ohio, USA. Date: July, 2015.
Question Mark Butterfly (<i>Polygonia interrogationis</i>)
Question Mark, Polygonia interrogationis, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ One of the ways to tell the difference between the Question Mark and the Comma butterflies (see the Comma above) is to look at the row of spots in the middle of the forewing. The Comma has three round spots in a row, whereas the Question Mark has four spots (three round ones, and a fourth that is more elongate).
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Luce County, Michigan, USA. Date: 24 May, 2012.
Question Mark Butterfly (<i>Polygonia interrogationis</i>)
Question Mark (underwings), Polygonia interrogationis, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The Question Mark has a silver marking shaped like a little question mark on the hind wing. Comma butterflies usually have a comma-shaped marking, but sometimes it looks very similar to the Question Mark’s marking.
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Luce County, Michigan, USA. Date: 24 May, 2012.
Question Mark Butterfly (<i>Polygonia interrogationis</i>)
Question Mark, Polygonia interrogationis, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
Photographed and identified by: Jeff Goff. Location: near Munising, Alger County, Michigan, USA. Date: 1 September, 2017.
Question Mark Butterfly (<i>Polygonia interrogationis</i>)
Question Mark (underwings), Polygonia interrogationis, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
Photographed and identified by: Jeff Goff. Location: near Munising, Alger County, Michigan, USA. Date: 1 September, 2017.
Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly (Aglais urticae)
Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly, Aglais urticae, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The males and females of this species look similar. One of the best ways to tell them apart is during mating when the male will approach a female and drum his antennae on her hind wings as part of the courtship. The drumming is soft, but a careful person can actually hear the drumming.
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: South Devon, England, UK. Date: 1 September, 2013.
Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)
Common Buckeye, Junonia coenia, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ This colorful butterfly has two eyespots on each hind wing, one much larger than the other; and another large eyespot plus a much smaller one on each forewing. They are common in the southern United States all year, but will spend a short time in northern states, even reaching southern Canada, in warmer months.
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina, USA. Date: 31 August, 2017.
West Coast Lady (<i>Vanessa annabella</i>)
West Coast Lady, Vanessa annabella, subfamily Nymphalinae, Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ A good resource for distinguishing the four species of Vanessa butterflies in the United States is at this Iowa State University website. Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 10 September, 2016.
West Coast Lady (<i>Vanessa annabella</i>)
West Coast Lady, Vanessa annabella, subfamily Nymphalinae, Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ On an Arbutus ‘Marina’ Multi evergreen tree, this photo shows the underwings.
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 28 December, 2016.
Red Admiral (<i>Vanessa atalanta </i>)
Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta, subfamily Nymphalinae, Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The Red Admiral is found in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, including Europe, Asia and North America. This photo was taken in the UK. See the others on this page taken in the U.S.
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: South Devon, England, UK. Date: 8 September, 2015.
Red Admiral (<i>Vanessa atalanta </i>)
Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta, subfamily Nymphalinae, Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The caterpillar of this species will spin silk around small leaves or make a tube of a larger leaf to make a nice shelter for itself.
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 29 November, 2016.
Red Admiral (<i>Vanessa atalanta </i>)
Red Admiral (underwings), Vanessa atalanta, subfamily Nymphalinae, Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ These butterflies will drink nectar, but are very fond of tree sap and fruit, and are sometimes seen dining on fresh dung. To each his own!
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 29 November, 2016.
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American Lady (<i>Vanessa virginiensis</i>)
American Lady, Vanessa virginiensis, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The American Lady is primarily a North American species, although it is also found on the Canary Islands (off the northwestern coast of Africa), in far northern South America, and occasionally in southwestern Europe. Compare the American Lady and the similar-looking Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), which is also posted on this page.
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Kalkaska County, Michigan, USA. Date: 17 June, 2012.
American Lady (<i>Vanessa virginiensis</i>)
American Lady (underwings), Vanessa virginiensis, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The two large eyespots on the underside of the hind wings (as seen here) help to distinguish this species from the closely related and quite similar-looking Painted Lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui).
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Kalkaska County, Michigan, USA. Date: 17 June, 2012.
Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui
Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ Compare this to the very similar American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) in the previous photos. The Painted Lady is found on five of the seven continents: North America, South America, Africa, Europe and Asia.
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: South Devon, England, UK. Date: 1 September, 2013.
Baltimore checkerspot (<i>Danaus plexippus</i>)
Baltimore Checkerspot, Euphydryas phaeton, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The underside of the wings (shown here) have beautiful patterning. The topsides of the wings have a bit less patterning, but are equally beautiful.
Photographed and identified by: Jeff Goff. Location: Munising, Michigan, USA. Date: 9 August, 2016.
Mourning cloak (<i>Nymphalis antiopa</i>)
Mourning Cloak, Nymphalis antiopa, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ This butterfly is often the first of the year in northern climates. That’s because the adults hibernate instead of migrating. When the temperatures warm up, they emerge from their overwintering spots under bark and in other protected areas.
Photographed and identified by: Charles Rice. Location: Royal Oak, Michigan, USA. Date: 23 June, 2016. Charles says, “It was inside the bar I work at. I used a thin piece of paper to release her back outside.”
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Pearl Crescent (<i>Phyciodes tharos</i>)
Pearl Crescent, Phyciodes tharos, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ This is a great photo of a pair with open and closed wings! Nice job, Kelly! The butterfly in front is a male, which is determined by the all-black club on the end of each antenna.
Kelly McKinne (@gonzonaturalist). Location: Black Swamp Bird Observatory, Ohio, USA. Date: 9 August, 2015. Kelly says, “A beautiful pair of Pearl Crescent, sharing some ‘whitewash’ at the marsh. ;-)"
Crescent (<i>Phyciodes spp.</i>)
Crescent in the genus Phyciodes, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The Northern Crescent and Pearl Crescent both occur in the region where this photo was taken. The two species were considered the same species until rather recently, and they are difficult to tell apart. If it has all-black clubs on the ends of its antennae, it is a male Pearl Crescent. Female Pearl Crescents and both male and female Northern Crescents have orange tips on the clubs, as the one in this photo has.
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Michaywé, Otsego County, Michigan, USA. Date: 18 June, 2015.
Peacock Butterfly (<i>Aglais io</i>)
European Peacock, Aglais io, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ This is a different species — even a different genus — from the American Peacock butterflies (see next photos), which are in the genus Anartia.
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: South Devon, England, UK. Date: 31 August, 2016.
White Peacock (<i>Anartia jatrophae</i>)
(American) White Peacock, Anartia jatrophae, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The overall coloration with one dark spot on each forewing, and two dark spots on each hind wing is a characteristic of this species.
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by Amanda Maran. Thank you for the ID, Amanda! Location: Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina, USA. Date: 31 August 31, 2017.
White Peacock (<i>Anartia jatrophae</i>)
(American) White Peacock, Anartia jatrophae, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ Note the four-legged stance of this butterfly. This is typical of butterflies in this family. They do indeed have six legs, but the front two are reduced and they cannot use them for walking.
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by Audrey Maran. Thank you for the ID, Amanda! Location: Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina, USA. Date: 31 August 31, 2017.
Chocolate Pansy (Junonia iphita)
Chocolate Pansy, also known as a Chocolate Soldier, Junonia iphita, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The soft brown-on-brown patterns on the Chocolate Pansy’s wings make for a very attractive butterfly.
Photographed by: Ambika Bhatt, a student at Garhwal University in Uttarakhand State in northern India. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Fatehpur district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Date: 1 March, 2018.
Monarch Butterfly, male, (<i>Danaus plexippus</i>)
Monarch, male, Danaus plexippus, subfamily Danainae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ Male Monarchs have scent glands, which are visible as oval thickenings in the veins of the hind wing. Do you see them in this specimen?
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Benzie County, Michigan, USA. Date: 28 June, 2010.
Monarch (<i>Danaus plexippus</i>)
Monarch (underwings), Danaus plexippus, subfamily Danainae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The wings get all the attention, but the body of a Monarch is also quite beautiful with the white pattern on a black background.
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Kalkaska County, Michigan, USA. Date: 28 May, 2012.
Monarch (<i>Danaus plexippus</i>)
Monarch (underwings), Danaus plexippus, subfamily Danainae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
Photographed and identified by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Location: Key West, Florida, USA. Date: October, 2015.
Red-Spotted Purple
Red-Spotted Purple, Limenitis arthemis astyanax, subfamily Limenitidinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ Although “purple” is in its common name, this butterfly is more blue than purple. This species (Limenitis arthemis) is split into two subspecies: the Red-Spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax) and the White Admiral (Limenitis arthemis arthemis). The White Admiral has a wide white band that is clearly visible on the top and bottom sides of each wing.
Photographed and identified by: Mireille Weiland. Location: Red River Gorge, Kentucky, USA. Date: 3 September, 2017.
Red-Spotted Purple
Red-Spotted Purple (underwings), Limenitis arthemis astyanax, subfamily Limenitidinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
Photographed by: Kathy van Bommel-Pol. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Mississippi bordering the state of Louisiana, USA. Date: August or September, 2000 or 2001. Kathy says, “We walked just into this forest and I saw this butterfly. I had my camera with me fortunately (hanging around my neck). I had never seen this size butterfly before (and yes, everything IS bigger in America!!!)” Kathy is from The Netherlands :-)
Red-Spotted Purple
Red-Spotted Purple (underwings), Limenitis arthemis astyanax, subfamily Limenitidinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina, USA. Date: 31 August, 2017.
Speckled Wood Butterfly (Pararge aegeria)
Speckled Wood Butterfly, Pararge aegeria, subfamily Satyrinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ This butterfly varies in its appearance in certain areas. Depending on the region where it is found, the spots may be a different color (e.g., orange instead of cream), and the background color of the wings, which is brown in this specimen, may be more orange in color.
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: South Devon, England, UK. Date: 6 May, 2013.
Speckled Wood Butterfly (Pararge aegeria)
Speckled Wood Butterfly, Pararge aegeria, subfamily Satyrinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ This individual has a slightly more orange in its coloration than the Speckled Wood Butterfly in the previous photo.
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: Ivybridge, South Hams, South Devon, England UK. Date: 8 August, 2016.
Little Wood Satyr (<i>Megisto cymela</i>)
Little Wood Satyr, Megisto cymela, subfamily Satyrinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The yellow-rimmed black eyespots are a characteristic of this species.
Photographed and identified by: Kelly McKinne (@gonzonaturalist). Location: Michigan, USA. Date: 10 August, 2012.
Gatekeeper Butterfly (Pyronia tithonus)
Gatekeeper, Pyronia tithonus, subfamily Satyrinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ A simple way to the difference between the Gatekeeper and the similar Meadow Brown (see following photos) is to check the eyespots. The Gatekeeper has double eyespots, while the Meadow Brown as single eyespots.
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: South Devon, England, UK. Date: 8 August, 2016.
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)
Meadow Brown, male, Maniola jurtina, subfamily Satyrinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The female has swaths of orange color on the wings. They are faint in this specimen, but often they are quite noticeable (see next photo).
Photographed by: Yvonne Ugarte. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK. Date: 17 October, 2016. Yvonne says, “So beautiful. Tried giving this one some sugar water off a spoon, but it was too late for this one.”
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)
Meadow Brown, male, Maniola jurtina, subfamily Satyrinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The female has swaths of orange color on the wings. They are faint in this specimen, but often they are quite noticeable.
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: Ivybridge, South Hams, South Devon, England UK. Date: 8 August, 2016.
Blue Morpho Butterfly (Morpho peleides)
Blue Morpho Butterfly, Morpho peleides, subfamily Satyrinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The beautiful Blue Morpho is found in Mexico, Central America and northern South America.
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by; KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum, Gainesville, Florida, USA. Date: 25 May, 2018.
Blue Morpho Butterfly (Morpho peleides)
Blue Morpho Butterfly, Morpho peleides, subfamily Satyrinae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
□ The underwings of the Blue Morpho feature large and small eyespots.
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by; KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum, Gainesville, Florida, USA. Date: 25 May, 2018.
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Hesperiidae, the skippers

Common Checkered Skipper (<i>Pyrgus communis</i>)
Common Checkered Skipper, Pyrgus communis, subfamily Pyrginae, family Hesperiidae (the skippers).
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 18 August, 2016.
Common Checkered Skipper (<i>Pyrgus communis</i>)
Common Checkered Skipper, Pyrgus communis, subfamily Pyrginae, family Hesperiidae (the skippers).
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 18 August, 2016.
Rocky Mountain Duskywing (Erynnis telemachus)
Rocky Mountain Duskywing, Erynnis telemachus, subfamily Pyrginae, family Hesperiidae (the skippers).
□ The duskywings can be difficult to tell apart, but we think this is a Rocky Mountain Duskywing based on the the early time of year when this photo was taken.
Photographed and identified as a duskywing by: Bill Flor. Location: Los Alamos County, New Mexico, USA. Date: 22 March, 2015. Bill says he took this photo “on a warm early spring day that had teased some of the flowering trees to bloom almost two months before our frost-free date.”
Juvenal’s Duskywing (<i>Erynnis juvenalis</i>)
Juvenal’s Duskywing, Erynnis juvenalis, subfamily Pyrginae, family Hesperiidae (the skippers).
Photographed and identified by: Kelly McKinne (@gonzonaturalist). Location: Michigan, USA. Date: 10 August, 2012.
Sandhill Skipper (Polites sabuleti)
Sandhill Skipper, Polites sabuleti, subfamily Hesperiinae, family Hesperiidae (the skippers).
Photographed and identified as a skipper by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to species by: Arthur Shapiro, who runs “Art Shapiro’s Butterfly Site.” Thank you, Dr. Shapiro! See Thomas’ full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 13-14 July, 2016.
Common Roadside Skipper (<i>Amblyscirtes vialis</i>)
Common Roadside Skipper, Amblyscirtes vialis, subfamily Hesperiinae, family Hesperiidae (the skippers).
Photographed and identified by: Kelly McKinne (@gonzonaturalist). Location: Michigan, USA. Date: 10 August, 2012.
Fiery Skipper (<i>Hylephila phyleus</i>)
Fiery Skipper, Hylephila phyleus, subfamily Hesperiinae, family Hesperiidae (the skippers).
Photographed and identified by: Kelly McKinne (@gonzonaturalist). Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Date: 22 August, 2012.
Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)
Fiery Skipper, Hylephila phyleus, subfamily Hesperiinae, family Hesperiidae (the skippers).
Photographed and identified as a skipper by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to species by Arthur Shapiro, who runs “Art Shapiro’s Butterfly Site.” Thank you, Dr. Shapiro! See Thomas’ full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 13-14 July, 2016.
Umber Skipper (<i>Poanes melane</i>)
Umber Skipper, Poanes melane, subfamily Hesperiinae, family Hesperiidae (the skippers).
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to species by: Arthur Shapiro, who runs “Art Shapiro’s Butterfly Site.” Thank you, Dr. Shapiro! See Thomas’ full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 10 September, 2016.
Silver Spotted Skipper (<i>Epargyreus clarus</i>)
Silver Spotted Skipper, Epargyreus clarus, subfamily Eudaminae, family Hesperiidae (the skippers).
□ This view of a Silver Spotted Skipper shows the orange stripe on the top wing as well as the white blotch on the underside of the lower wing.
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina, USA. Date: 31 August, 2017.
Unidentified Skipper
Unidentified Skipper, family Hesperiidae (the skippers).
□ This is a typical posture of skippers. Such a posture can make it very challenging to determine species, however!
Photographed and identified as a skipper by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Location: The Villages Florida, USA. Date: 12 December, 2017.
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Pieridae, the whites, yellows and sulphurs

Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)
Cabbage White, Pieris rapae, subfamily Pierinae, family Pieridae (the whites, yellows and sulphurs).
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 14 July, 2016.
Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)
Cabbage White, Pieris rapae, subfamily Pierinae, family Pieridae (the whites, yellows and sulphurs).
□ This species gets around: This shot was taken on a different continent from the butterfly shown in the previous photo. Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: Ivybridge, South Hams, South Devon, England UK. Date: 8 August, 2016.
Red-spot jezebel (Delias descombesi)
Red-Spot Jezebel, Delias descombesi, subfamily Pierinae, family Pieridae (the whites, yellows and sulphurs).
Photographed by: Gosal Das. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Agartala, Tripura, India. Date: 1 May, 2017.
Cloudless sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Cloudless Sulphur, Phoebis sennae, subfamily Coliadinae, family Pieridae (the whites, yellows and sulphurs).
□ This photo shows Cloudless Sulphurs on a blue-flowered Plumbago. According to the University of Florida, some of the Cloudless Sulphur’s favorite plants are scarlet creeper, cypressvine, scarlet sage, and Texas sage. To read more about this beauty from the University of Florida, click here.
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: The Villages, Florida, USA. Date: 8 August, 2017.
Cloudless sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Cloudless Sulphur, male, Phoebis sennae, subfamily Coliadinae, family Pieridae (the whites, yellows and sulphurs).
□ Another gorgeous Cloudless Sulphur. The male has less obvious white spots on the hind wings than the female has, and he has a nondescript brown marking on the forewing, which is much more pronounced in the female. To compare the sexes, click here.
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: The Villages, Florida, USA. Date: 24 April, 2016.
Great Orange Tip ()
Great Orange Tip, Hebomoia glaucippe, subfamily Pierinae, family Pieridae (the whites, yellows and sulphurs).
□ The well-named Great Orange Tip is found in India, as well as much of Southeast Asia and East Asia.
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by; KnowYourInsects.org with the help of Florida Museum’s Butterfly Rainforest website. Location: Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum, Gainesville, Florida, USA. Date: 25 May, 2018.

Lycaenidae, the coppers

Bronze Copper (Lycaena hyllus)
Bronze Copper, male, Lycaena hyllus, subfamily Lycaeninae, family Lycaenidae (the coppers).
□ The female appearance differs in that the topside of each forewing has a large, yellow to orange patch with dark spots.
Photographed and identified by: Kelly McKinne (@gonzonaturalist). Location: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Ohio, USA. Date: 29 August, 2015.Kelly says, “First Bronze Copper of the year anywhere for me. Really cool-looking male here. Check out slight purple FW (forewing) iridescence.”
Bronze Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)
Small Copper Butterfly, Lycaena phlaeas, subfamily Lycaeninae, family Lycaenidae (the coppers).
□ This is a handsome copper was found in the UK. In the U.S., where it also lives, it is called the American Copper instead of the Small Copper.
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: South Devon, England, UK. Date: 31 July, 2017.
Golden Sapphire (Heliophorus brahma)
Golden Sapphire, also known as Himalayan Golden Sapphire, Heliophorus brahma, family Lycaenidae (the coppers).
□ This species actually has quite a bit of variation — some have less of the white outline on the wings, some have large orange blotches on the forewings. Note the small and thin “tail” dangling from the end of each hind wing.
Photographed by: Ambika Bhatt, a student at Garhwal University in Uttarakhand State in northern India. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Fatehpur district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Date: 18 February, 2018.
Western Pygmy Blue Butterfly (Brephidium exile)
Western Pygmy Blue Butterfly, Brephidium exile, subfamily Polyommatinae, family Lycaenidae (the coppers).
□ With a wingspan of only a half-inch (1.2 cm), this is one of the smallest butterflies in the world.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Thomas’ full-size image here. Location: South San Francisco, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 24 November, 2017.
Western Pygmy Blue Butterfly (Brephidium exile)
Western Pygmy Blue Butterfly, Brephidium exile, subfamily Polyommatinae, family Lycaenidae (the coppers).
□ Compare the pattern on the underside of the wings with the previous photo. They are quite different.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Thomas’ full-size image here. Location: South San Francisco, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 24 November, 2017.
Cassius Blue (Leptotes cassius)
Cassius Blue, Leptotes cassius, subfamily Polyommatinae, family Lycaenidae (the coppers).
□ Blues can be difficult to tell apart, especially from the underwings alone, but the Cassius Blue has a this eye-catching pattern, along with the two metallic-blue eye spots to set it apart.
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by: Audrey Maran. Thank you, Audrey! Location: The Villages, Florida, USA. Date: 17 October, 2017.
Ciliate Blue
Ciliate Blue, Anthene emolus, subfamily Polyommatinae, family Lycaenidae (the coppers).
□ Such a beautiful blue/purple on the upper side of the wings!
Photographed by: Gosal Das. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Agartala, Tripura, India. Date: 1 April, 2017. Gosal found the insect at his home.
Ciliate Blue
Ciliate Blue, Anthene emolus, subfamily Polyommatinae, family Lycaenidae (the coppers).
□ This photo of the previous butterfly offers a better view of its underwing. And take a look at those pretty striped legs and antennae!
Photographed by: Gosal Das. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Agartala, Tripura, India. Date: 1 April, 2017.
White M Hairstreak (Parrhasius m-album)
White M Hairstreak, Parrhasius m-album, subfamily Theclinae, family Lycaenidae (the coppers).
□ Compare this to the Gray Hairstreak, pictured elsewhere on this page. The White M Hairstreak has a large white M design on the underside of the hind wing (evident in this photo), and this sets it apart from the Gray Hairstreak.
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: The Villages, Florida, USA. Date: 7 April, 2018.
Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)
Gray Hairstreak, Strymon melinus, subfamily Theclinae, family Lycaenidae (the coppers).
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 10 September, 2016.Thomas says, “The butterfly was always head down whenever I saw and photographed it.”
Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)
Gray Hairstreak (underwings), Strymon melinus, subfamily Theclinae, family Lycaenidae (the coppers).
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 10 September, 2016.
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Moths (adult)
Families represented below:
Attevidae, the tropical ermine moths
Batrachedridae, the batrachedrid moths
Crambidae, the crambid snout moths, or grass moths
Erebidae, the erebid moths
Eupterotidae, the monkey moths
Gelechiidae, the twirler moths
Geometridae, the geometer moths
Lasiocampidae, the tent caterpillars, lappet moths, eggars, and snout moths
Limacodidae, the slug moths or cup moths
Noctuidae, the owlet moths
Pterophoridae, the plume moths
Saturniidae, the saturniid moths
Sphingidae, the hawk moths
Tineidae, the fungus moths or tineid moths
Tortricidae (the tortricid moths)
Unidentified moths


Geometridae, the geometer moths

Paro mating
Mating pair of moths in the genus Pero, subfamily Ennominae, family Geometridae (the geometer moths).
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: Julian Donahue, entomologist (ret.), Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. KnowYourInsects.org lightened Thomas’ amazing nighttime photo to show detail, but you can see his original full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 19 May, 2017. Thomas says, “They would stay in one position for a while and then change. One time the male pulled the female, still attached, over to another leaf.”
Moth
Mating pair of moths in the genus Pero, subfamily Ennominae, family Geometridae (the geometer moths).
□ This is the same pair shown in the previous photo, but with the wings spread.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: Julian Donahue, entomologist (ret.), Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. Again, KnowYourInsects.org lightened Thomas’ photo to show detail, but you can see his original, full-size, nighttime image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 19 May, 2017.
Moth
Pupa and adult moth in the genus Pero, subfamily Ennominae, family Geometridae (the geometer moths).
□ The adult moth (shown) emerged from this pupa.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: Julian Donahue, entomologist (ret.), Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. See Thomas’ full-size image of the adult moth here, and of the pupa here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 19 April, 2017 (pupa) and 19 May, 2017 (adult). Thomas says, “Approximately 7/8 inches long. I uncovered 7 of them while removing grass and weeds from a small pile of dirt that was my last compost heap.”
Geometrid moth
Scalloped Oak moth, Crocallis elinguaria, subfamily Ennominae, family Geometridae (the geometer moths).
□ This looks similar to the Feathered Thorn moth (Colotois pennaria), which also has two thin stripes across each wing and a small dots between them. In the Scalloped Oak moth, however, the area between the two thin stripes is a considerably darker color.
Photographed by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Ivybridge, South Hams, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 2011.
Chickweed Geometer (<i>Haematopis grataria</i>)
Chickweed Geometer, Haematopis grataria, subfamily Sterrhinae, family Geometridae (the geometer moths).
Photographed and identified by: Kelly McKinne (@gonzonaturalist). Location: Michigan, USA. Date: 10 August, 2012.
Moth
Geometrid moth, perhaps a Green Pug, Pasiphila rectangulata (but possibly Eupithecia), subfamily Larentiinae, family Geometridae (the geometer moths).
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified tentatively here. See Thomas’ full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 16 May, 2017.
Geometrid moth
Geometrid moth, family Geometridae (the geometer moths).
□ These photos show the bottom (ventral) and top (dorsal) views.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: Julian Donahue, entomologist (ret.), Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. See Thomas’ full-size images here and here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 16 May, 2017.
Geometrid moth
Geometrid moth, family Geometridae (the geometer moths).
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: Julian Donahue, entomologist (ret.), Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. See Thomas’ full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 16 May, 2017.
Moth
Geometrid moth, family Geometridae (the geometer moths).
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. See his full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 24 February, 2017.

Attevidae, the tropical ermine moths

Ailanthus Webworm Moth (<i>Atteva aurea</i>)
Ailanthus Webworm Moth, Atteva aurea, subfamily Attevinae, family Attevidae (the tropical ermine moths).
□ With that bright coloration and cool pattern, it is a stunning moth!
Photographed by: Sandra Piechowiak. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Saginaw, Michigan, USA. Date: 9 September, 2015.
Ailanthus Webworm Moth (<i>Atteva aurea</i>)
Ailanthus Webworm Moth, Atteva aurea, subfamily Attevinae, family Attevidae (the tropical ermine moths).
□ This moth exhibits what is called aposematic coloration, which means that its bright colors serve to warn potential predators to leave it alone. Scientists aren’t certain if: 1) the color warns birds that the moth tastes bad because of the poison-containing plants that it eats (a favorite is Tree of Heaven), or 2) the color just reminds birds of other orange-and-black-patterned insects (such as Monarch butterflies) that do indeed have a bad taste.
Photographed by: HMR. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Ruckersville, Virginia, USA. Date: 25 August, 2016.
Ailanthus Webworm Moth (<i>Atteva aurea</i>)
Ailanthus Webworm Moth, Atteva aurea, subfamily Attevinae, family Attevidae (the tropical ermine moths).
□ Here are different views of this moth.
Photographed by: Carlo Castoro. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, USA. Date: 14 August, 2017.
Ailanthus Webworm Moth (<i>Atteva aurea</i>)
Ailanthus Webworm Moth, Atteva aurea, subfamily Attevinae, family Attevidae (the tropical ermine moths).
Photographed by: Elizabeth Boyle. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: West Milford, New Jersey, USA. Date: 22 August, 2017. Elizabeth saw this “hanging out on my house.”
Ailanthus Webworm Moth (<i>Atteva aurea</i>)
Ailanthus Webworm Moth, Atteva aurea, subfamily Attevinae, family Attevidae (the tropical ermine moths).
□ This moth is active during the day and it holds its wings curved over its body, both of which are unusual for moths.
Photographed by: Jacky Weiland. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Princeton, West Virginia, USA. Date: 31 August, 2017. Jackie says, “I took the pic at dusk.”
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Pterophoridae, the plume moths

Plume Moth
Plume Moth, possibly a Morning Glory Plume Moth, Emmelina monodactyla, subfamily Pterophorinae, family Pterophoridae (the plume moths).
□ The long and thin wings, which it holds out at a 90-degree angle from the body are characteristic of the plume moths.
Photographed by: Graeme Bennet. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Date: 20 September, 2016. Graeme says, “This interesting character was on a window we installed this week... Is about 1 inch across and long.”.
Plume moth
Plume Moth, quite possibly a Geranium Plume Moth, Amblyptilia pica, subfamily Pterophorinae, family Pterophoridae (the plume moths).
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 28 September, 2016. Thomas says, “It does not appear to be a very strong flyer as it never moved very far.”
Plume Moth (Amblyptilia acanthadactyla)
Beautiful Plume Moth, Amblyptilia acanthadactyla, subfamily Pterophorinae, family Pterophoridae (the plume moths).
□ This species of plume moth — with the common name of Beautiful Plume Moth — is becoming an increasingly frequent guest in gardens of England and Ireland.
Photographed by: Peter Appleby. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: South Yorkshire, UK. Date: 4 August, 2017. Peter says, “We have never seen one of these in our area before.”
Tamarisk Plume Moth (Agdistis tamaricis)
Tamarisk Plume Moth, Agdistis tamaricis, subfamily Agdistinae, family Pterophoridae (the plume moths).
□ This and other plume moths in the genus Agdistis are distinguished by the unusual way they hold their wings when they are at rest. They hold their wings out to the front, giving the moth a “Y” silhouette rather than the “T” silhouette that is common to other plume moths.
Photographed by: Elettra Caudullo. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: La Gomera, Canary Islands (a group of Spanish islands off the northwest coast of Africa). Date: 7 September, 2017. Elettra says the 2017 summer was very hot and that nearly everyday, they experienced kalima, which she described as dusty hot air (also known as desert wind). This air is full of sand, and blows from the Sahara Desert on mainland Africa over to the Canary Island archipeligo.
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Plume Moth
Plume Moth, family Pterophoridae (the plume moths).
Photographed by: Susan Catallo. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Mercer Island, Washington, USA. Date: 19 April, 2017. Susan says, “Body length was approximately 1-1/8", with the slightly frilly-ended wings a bit longer.” On the identification, she adds, “My bro will be interested too — we’re both bug geeks (among other sciences).”
Plume Moth
Plume Moth, family Pterophoridae (the plume moths).
Photographed and identified by: Bill Flor. Location: Los Alamos County, New Mexico, USA. Date: 12 September, 2015. Bill says he took this photo at about 6 p.m. on an outdoor potted plant in protected north-side shade ... at 7,500 ft.
Plume Moth
Plume Moth, family Pterophoridae (the plume moths).
Photographed and identified by: Bill Flor. Location: Los Alamos County, New Mexico, USA. Date: 4 August, 2017. Bill says, “This one looks much more ‘stick-like’ in design/pattern.” He took this photo under one of his porch lights (north side shade at 7,500 ft and mid-70s temperature) at 7:30 p.m.
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Saturniidae, the saturniid moths

Luna Moth (<i>Actias luna</i>)
Luna Moth, Actias luna, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the saturniid moths).
□ With a wingspan that reaches up to 4.5 inches (!), the luna moth is one of North America’s largest moths. It is still, however, only half the size of the world’s largest moth, which is the Hercules Moth (Coscinocera hercules). Found in New Guinea and northern Australia, that species can have a wingspan of nearly 10 inches!
Photographed by: Elaine Daksiewicz. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA. Date: 5 August, 2015.
Luna Moth (<i>Actias luna</i>)
Luna Moth, Actias luna, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the saturniid moths).
□ You should feel privileged if you see one of these gorgeous moths with their pale green wings. While they can live as a caterpillar for about six weeks, once they emerge from their cocoon, they only survive a few days.
Photographed by: Pat Callahan. Identified by: Matt Mertz. Location: Hartland, Livingston County, Michigan, USA. Date: 27 July, 2013.
Luna Moth (<i>Actias luna</i>)
Luna Moth, Actias luna, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the saturniid moths).
Photographed and identified by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Location: Hopewell, Virginia, USA. Date: July 2014.
Luna Moth (<i>Actias luna</i>)
Luna Moth, caterpillar forming cocoon, Actias luna, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the saturniid moths).
□ The photographer caught this Luna Moth caterpillar spinning silk to form a cocoon. The next two photos show a continuation of the metamorphosis.
Photographed and identified by: Tony L. Location: central New Jersey, USA. Date: 11 September, 2017. Tony says, “Found Luna moth caterpillar starting cocoon on porch.”
Luna Moth (<i>Actias luna</i>)
Luna Moth, pupa, Actias luna, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the saturniid moths).
□ Once the Luna Moth caterpillar is encased in the cocoon, its skin splits open and a reddish-brown pupa forms. (A chrysalis is another term for a pupa.) This all occurs within the cocoon.
Photographed and identified by: Tony L. Location: Hopewell, Virginia, USA. Date: 12 September, 2017. Tony says, “Wish I would have taken a photo when the chysallis was sweating!”
Imperial Moth (<i>Eacles imperialis</i>)
Imperial Moth, Hyalophora cecropia, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
Photographed and identified by: Kelly McKinne (@gonzonaturalist). Location: Perrysburg, Ohio, USA. Date: July, 2015.
Cecropia Moth (<i>Hyalophora cecropia</i>)
Cecropia Moth, Hyalophora cecropia, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
□ The Cecropia is a large moth with wingspans up to 6 inches!
Photographed and identified by: Kelly McKinne (@gonzonaturalist). Location: Perrysburg, Ohio, USA. Date: July, 2015.
Cecropia Moth (<i>Hyalophora cecropia</i>)
Cecropia Moth, Hyalophora cecropia, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
□ The color of Cecropia Moths color is a gray-brown: sometimes a bit more brown (as shown here), and sometimes a bit more gray (as in the previous photo).
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Hopewell, Virginia, USA. Date: 20 April, 2012.
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Polyphemus Moth (<i>Anthera polyphemus</i>)
Polyphemus Moth, Anthera polyphemus, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
□ Check out the huge eyespots on the hind wings!
Photographed and identified by: Kelly McKinne (@gonzonaturalist). Location: Perrysburg, Ohio, USA. Date: July, 2015.
Polyphemus Moth (<i>Anthera polyphemus</i>)
Polyphemus Moth, Anthera polyphemus, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Luce County, Michigan, USA. Date: 26 May, 2012.
Polyphemus Moth (<i>Anthera polyphemus</i>)
Polyphemus Moth, Anthera polyphemus, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
□ The big hindwing eyespots are just barely peeking out from behind the front wings in this photo.
Photographed and identified by: Tony L. Location: central New Jersey, USA. Date: 18 May, 2017.
Polyphemus Moth (<i>Anthera polyphemus</i>)
Polyphemus Moth, Anthera polyphemus, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
Photographed and identified by: Ginger Nefsey. Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Date: 28 May, 2015.
Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus)
Polyphemus Moth, female, Antheraea polyphemus, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
□ The photographer spotted this Polyphemus Moth during its transformation from a pupa to an adult. Its wings are just unfurling in the first photo. Note the exceptional ring of white fur on this beauty!
Photographed and identified by: Deborah Malitz. Confirmed by entomologist Duke Ellsworth. Location: Muncie, Indiana, USA. Date: 11 May, 2018. Deborah says, “It was crawling on the ground with its wings curled up. The body is huge. It climbed up a table leg and spread its wings that look like a face! The legs are hairy and the antennae look like combs! It is very fierce looking!”
Promethea Moth (<i>Anthera polyphemus</i>)
Promethea Moth, male, Callosamia promethea, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
□ This species has a wingspan from 3-3 3/4 inches, so this is a large moth.
Photographed by: Patricia Leonard. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Fountain Inn, South Carolina, USA. Date: 31 July, 2017.
Regal Moth (<i>Citheronia regalis</i>)
Regal Moth, also known as a Royal Walnut Moth, Citheronia regalis, subfamily Ceratocampinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
□ The caterpillar of this moth goes by the name of Hickory Horned Devil and can grow to 5.5 inches (14 cm) long! It does indeed have structures that look like horns — these are tubercles called scoli. To learn more about this fascinating moth, click here to find excellent information from the University of Florida.
Photographed and identified by: Kelly McKinne (@gonzonaturalist). Location: Lorane, Pennsylvania, USA. Date: July 7, 2017.
Imperial Moth (<i>Eacles imperialis</i>)
Imperial Moth, Eacles imperialis, subfamily Ceratocampinae, family Saturniidae (the saturniid moths).
Photographed by: W. Glen Bateman Jr. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Fort DeSoto Beach and Park, Pinellas County, west-central Florida, USA. Date: 5 November, 2016.

Erebidae, the erebid moths

Jersey tiger moth
Jersey Tiger Moth, Euplagia quadripunctaria, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae (the erebid moths).
□ The beautiful patterning of the Jersey Tiger Moth’s forewings are only one part of this lovely moth. The hind wings (hidden in this photo) are a brilliant orange with black spots.
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: Ivybridge, South Hams, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 18 August 2017. Bryan notes that this moth was named by 18th century Austrian entomologist Nikolaus Poda von Neuhaus in 1761. Thanks for the information, Bryan!
Sandal defoliator
Mating pair of Sandalwood Defoliators, Amata passalis, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae (the erebid moths).
□ Sandalwood Defoliators are also sometimes called Indian Wasp Moths. Those are beautiful wings and abdomens!
Photographed by: Ajay Antony. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: India. Date: 30 May 2017.
Sandal defoliator
Sandalwood Defoliator, Amata passalis, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae (the erebid moths).
□ The Sandalwood Defoliator gets its name because it eats the leaves of Indian Sandalwood (Santalum album), a small tree that is the harvested to make fine furniture. Its roots also produce oil that is used for perfumes, incense, and other purposes. Besides eating the leaves of sandalwood, Sandalwood Defoliators also munch on the leaves of a variety of other trees.
Photographed and identified to order by: Spoorthi Sv. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Shivamogga (Shimoga), Karnataka state, southwest India. Date: 7 March, 2018.
Painted tiger moth
Painted Tiger Moth, Arachnis picta, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae (the erebid moths).
□ If its wings were spread to reveal the hind pair, you would see that they — and the abdomen — are bright red.
Photographed by: Bill Flor. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Los Alamos County, New Mexico, USA. Date: 1 July, 2017. Bill says, “It’s maybe 3/4" in length, and the thing that seemed different to me is that the wing position is fairly ‘flat’ rather than ‘tented.’
Painted tiger moth
Painted Tiger Moth, Arachnis picta, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae (the erebid moths).
□ This is such a striking moth.
Photographed by: Gabriel Valencia. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: central coast, California, USA. Date: 23 October, 2017. Gabriel says, “I found this little guy outside my house. It looked cool.’ KnowYourInsects.org agrees wholeheartedly!
Virginia Ctenucha (<i>Ctenucha virginica</i>)
Virginia Ctenucha, Ctenucha virginica, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae (the erebid moths).
□ This moth is somewhat unusual in that it is active during the day. The brilliant blue and orange make it a particularly striking insect!
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Gaylord, Michigan, USA. Date: June 2016.
Virginia Ctenucha (<i>Ctenucha virginica</i>)
Virginia Ctenucha, Ctenucha virginica, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae (the erebid moths).
□ This moth was previously in the family Arctiidae, but the family is now considered part (or a subfamily) of the larger Erebidae family.
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Gaylord, Michigan, USA. Date: June 2016.
Virginian tiger moth
Virginian Tiger Moth, also known as a Yellow Woolly Bear Moth, Spilosoma virginica, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae (the erebid moths).
□ This white moth is distinguished by its abdomen, which has a row of black dots in the center and a line of yellow running down the sides. The caterpillar, which is shown in the Caterpillars section of this page, is called a Yellow Woolly Bear.
Photographed by Ruth Brown. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: northwestern Pennsylvania (just east of Erie), USA. Date: 16 July, 2017.
Wasp moth, Horama pretus
Wasp Moth, Horama pretus, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae (the erebid moths).
□ This is called a Wasp Moth, because it is a moth that is mimicking a wasp. The wasp coloration is believed to help protect the moth from potential predators.
Photographed by: Carlo Castoro. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, USA. Date: 2013.
Wasp moth, Horama pretus
Wasp Moth, Horama pretus, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae (the erebid moths).
□ This is another shot of this very interesting Wasp Moth. It is a great find!
Photographed by: Carlo Castoro. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, USA. Date: 2013.
White Underwing Moth (<i>Catocala relicta</i>)
White Underwing Moth, Catocala relicta, subfamily Erebinae, family Erebidae (the erebid moths).
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Gaylord, Michigan, USA. Date: 13 September, 2013. Leslie says, “The black ‘hump’ behind its head was really quite noticeable even from a distance.”
White Underwing Moth (<i>Catocala relicta</i>)
White Underwing Moth, Catocala relicta, subfamily Erebinae, family Erebidae (the erebid moths).
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Gaylord, Michigan, USA. Date: 13 September, 2013.
Erebid moth
Erebid moth, family Erebidae (the erebid moths).
□ That is some great camouflage! It’s amazing how well some of these moths blend into their surroundings.
Photographed by: Surani Pratik. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: India. Date: 19 February 2017. Surani found the moth on a bottle palm tree.
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Noctuidae, the owlet moths

Angle Shades Moth (Phlogophora meticulosa)
Angle Shades Moth, Phlogophora meticulosa, subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae (the owlet moths).
□ See the next photo for a closeup of one of the interesting features of this moth.
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: Ivybridge, South Hams, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 21 September, 2017. Bryan says, “About an hour ago I managed to capture a couple of images of the Angle Shades moth in our garden — ideal camouflage in the dead Autumn leaves.”
Angle Shades Moth (Phlogophora meticulosa)
Angle Shades Moth, Phlogophora meticulosa, subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae (the owlet moths).
□ Such an interesting little tuft of hairs just behind the head! The photographer calls that little tuft a “quiff.” (See full moth in previous photo.)
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: Ivybridge, South Hams, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 21 September, 2017.
Wedgling moth (Galgula partita)
Wedgling Moth, Galgula partita, subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae (the owlet moths).
□ Wedgling Moths range in color from light tan (like this one) to deep brown. The latter can be so dark that the large wing spots can be hard to distinguish.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: moth specialist Dave Wikle. Thank you, Dave! See Thomas’ full-size image here.
Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 24 August, 2017.
Wedgling moth (Galgula partita)
Wedgling Moth, Galgula partita, subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae (the owlet moths).
□ This is the front view of the Wedgling Moth with a cool reflection below. Moth specialist Dave Wikle notes that the larvae (caterpillars) of Wedgling Moths larvae feed on Oxalis, which is a genus of flowering plants in the wood-sorrel family.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: moth specialist Dave Wikle. Thank you, Dave! See Thomas’ full-size image here.
Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 24 August, 2017.
Noctuid moth
Noctuid moth, possibly Lacinipolia patali (no common name), subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae (the owlet moths).
□ These photos show two views of the same moth.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to family by: Julian Donahue, entomologist (ret.), Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. Tentatively identified to species by: moth specialist Dave Wikle. Thank you to both identifiers! See Thomas’ full-size images here and here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 19 April, 2017.
Small Ranunculus Moth (Hecatera dysodea)
Small Ranunculus Moth, Hecatera dysodea, subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae (the owlet moths).
□ Moth specialist Dave Wikle says that this is a county record, which means that it is the first moth of this species to have been noted in this particular county, which in this case is California’s San Mateo County. He adds that this is actually a Eurasian species that was introduced to the United States, and is probably spreading rapidly.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: moth specialist Dave Wikle. Thank you, Dave! See Thomas’ full-size image here.
Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 11 August, 2017.
Small Ranunculus Moth (Hecatera dysodea)
Small Ranunculus Moth, Hecatera dysodea, subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae (the owlet moths).
□ This side view of the Small Ranunculus Moth shows the profile of this moth, including its large eyes and pixie-like face.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: moth specialist Dave Wikle. Thank you, Dave! See Thomas’ full-size image here.
Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 11 August, 2017.
Large Yellow Underwing Moth (<i>Noctua pronuba</i>)
Large Yellow Underwing, Noctua pronuba, subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae (the owlet moths).
□ Take a close look and you can see a hint of the bright orange hind wings hidden under the gray forewings. Moth specialist Dave Wikle notes that this is an exotic species that arrived in the eastern United States from Europe a couple of decades ago, and now has a very wide distribution as shown here.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org and verified by moth specialist Dave Wikle. See Thomas’ full-size image here.
Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 18 November, 2016.
Noctua pronuba
Large Yellow Underwing, Noctua pronuba, subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae (the owlet moths).
□ These photos show the side (lateral) and top (dorsal) views. Compare this to the previous photo to get an idea of the wide variation within this species. See moth specialist Dave Wikle’s comment below.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to family by: Julian Donahue, entomologist (ret.), Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. Identified to species by: moth specialist Dave Wikle. See Thomas’ full-size images here and here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 10 May, 2017.
Large Yellow Underwing, Noctua pronuba
Large Yellow Underwing, Noctua pronuba, subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae (the noctuid moths).
□ This specimen clearly shows the colorful hind wings of the Large Yellow Underwing.

Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size images here and here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 2 May, 2017.
Glassy Cutworm Moth (Apamea devastator)
Glassy Cutworm Moth, Apamea devastator, subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae (the owlet moths).
□ The name cutworm refers to the larva or caterpillar of this moth, which chews through corn and wheat, along with various other grasses.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size photo here. Identified by: moth specialist Dave Wikle. Thank you, Dave! Location: City of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 27 May, 2017.
Glassy Cutworm Moth (Apamea devastator)
Glassy Cutworm Moth, Apamea devastator, subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae (the owlet moths).
□ Members of the similar-looking Hadeninae subfamily have hairs on the eyes, but this closeup shows no hairs. This helped moth expert Dave Wikle rule out the Hadeninae moths, and instead focus on the Noctuinae family instead, ultimately identifying it as a Glassy Cutworm Moth. Note: Look for the coiled mouthparts in this photo.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size photo here. Identified by: moth specialist Dave Wikle. Thank you, Dave! Location: City of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 27 May, 2017.
Silver Y Moth (Autographa gamma)
Silver Y Moth, Autographa gamma, subfamily Plusiinae, family Noctuidae (the owlet moths).
□ The common name of this species refers to the curved, white-silver, Y-shaped marking in the center of each forewing.
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: Ivybridge, South Hams, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 28 August, 2017. Bryan says, “It was resting on a fallen oak leaf, (and it) was trapped in a spider’s thread.”
Tufted Bird Dropping Moth (Cerma cerintha)
Tufted Bird Dropping Moth, also known as a Tufted Bird Lime Moth, Cerma cerintha, subfamily Acronictinae, family Noctuidae (the owlet moths).
□ The rather unflattering name of Tufted Bird Dropping Moth comes from the moth’s wing coloration and pattern, which is somewhat like that of a bird dropping. The black pattern also resembles lace — perhaps that should have been the focus for the common name instead of bird dropping :-)
Photographed by Jennifer Fox. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Brighton, Michigan, USA. Date: 30 May, 2016.
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Lasiocampidae, the tent caterpillars, lappet moths, eggars, and snout moths

Tolype laricis
Large Tolype Moth, Tolype laricis, subfamily Macromphaliinae, family Lasiocampidae (the tent caterpillars, lappet moths, eggars, and snout moths).
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Alberta, south of L’Anse, Michigan, USA. Date: 8 August, 2016.
Lasiocampid Moth, Gastropacha
Lasiocampid moth, genus Gastropacha,, quite possibly Gastropacha pardale, subfamily Gastropachinae, family Lasiocampidae (the tent caterpillars, lappet moths, eggars, and snout moths).
Photographed by: Surani Pratik. Identified by: Sanjay Sondhi, Titli Trust. Thank you for the identification, Sanjay Sondhi! Location: Navsari, Gujarat, India. Date: 27 October, 2017.
Rose-Myrtle Lappet Moth (Trabala vishnou)
Rose-Myrtle Lappet Moth, Trabala vishnou, subfamily Lasiocampinae, family Lasiocampidae (the tent caterpillars, lappet moths, eggars, and snout moths).
□ Females Rose-Myrtle Lappet Moths are yellow, and the males (like this one) are light green.
Photographed by: Sobhit Vatsa. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: India. Date: 10 November, 2017.

Batrachedridae, the batrachedrid moths

BatrachedraMoth_Thomas
Batrachedrid Moth, likely in the genus Batrachedra, subfamily Batrachedrinae, family Batrachedridae (the batrachedrid moths).
□ When at rest, as shown, moths in this family hold their wings rolled over their backs and their antennae laid along the body. They also have fringe on the edges of their forewings and hind wings.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to genus by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Thomas’ full-size image here.
Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 27 September, 2016.
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Crambidae, the crambid snout moths, or grass moths

Crambid moth, Pyrausta spp.
Crambid moth, likely in the genus Pyrausta, subfamily Pyraustinae, family Crambidae (the crambid snout moths, or grass moths). Photographed and identified as a crambid moth by: Bill Flor. Nice job of identification, Bill! Identified to genus by: KnowYourInsects.org.
Location: Los Alamos County (7,500 ft. elevation), New Mexico, USA. Date: 12 August, 2017. Bill says, “It’s only 7 or 8 mm in length (nose to wingtips), but the color was striking even at that size, with the wing bars and the almost ‘shiny’ red in the wings easly visible.”
Volupial pyrausta moth (<i>Pyrausta volupialis</i>)
Volupial Pyrausta Moth, Pyrausta volupialis, subfamily Pyraustinae, family Crambidae (the crambid snout moths, or grass moths). Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: BugGuide.net. See Thomas’ full-size image here.
Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 28 August, 2016.
Volupial pyrausta moth (<i>Pyrausta volupialis</i>)
Volupial Pyrausta Moth, Pyrausta volupialis, subfamily Pyraustinae, family Crambidae (the crambid snout moths, or grass moths). □ Compare this individual to the previous photo. This species has considerable variability in size (this one is noticeably smaller) and color (this one is more gray than red).
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: entomologist Christopher C. Grinter, California Academy of Sciences. Thank you, Dr. Grinter! See Thomas’ full-size image here.
Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 4 September, 2017.

Sphingidae, the hawk moths

Slender Clearwing Moth (<i>Hemaris gracilis</i>)
Slender Clearwing Moth, Hemaris gracilis, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae (the hawk moths).
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Benzie County, Michigan, USA. Date: 12 June, 2012.
Slender Clearwing Moth (<i>Hemaris gracilis</i>)
Slender Clearwing Moth, Hemaris gracilis, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae (the hawk moths).
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Benzie County, Michigan, USA. Date: 12 June, 2012. Leslie says, “Even with the fastest shutter speed, it was hard to catch the detail of wings while it was hovering!”
Slender Clearwing Moth (<i>Hemaris gracilis</i>)
Slender Clearwing Moth, Hemaris gracilis, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae (the hawk moths).
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Kalkaska County, Michigan, USA. Date: 12 June, 2012.
Hummingbird Moth
Hummingbird Moth in the genus Hemaris, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae (the hawk moths).
Photographed and identified by: Maryle Barbé. Location: Along the Bear River in Petoskey, Michigan. Date: 2013.
Pandorus Sphinx Moth (<i>Eumorpha pandorus</i>)
Pandorus Sphinx Moth, Eumorpha pandorus, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae (the hawk moths).
Photographed by Jean Zott. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Detroit, Michigan, USA. Date: 23 July, 2015. Jean says, “Pretty cool camouflage moth!”
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Eupterotidae, the monkey moths
Limacodidae, the slug moths or cup moths

Eupterotid moth, Eupterote
Eupterotid moth, genus Eupterote, subfamily Eupterotinae, family Eupterotidae (the monkey moths).
Photographed by: Surani Pratik. Identified by: Sanjay Sondhi, Titli Trust. Thank you for the identification, Sanjay Sondhi! Location: Navsari, Gujarat, India. Date: 18 July, 2017. Surani saw this moth at night at his house.
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Blue-Striped Nettle Grub Moth, Parasa lepida
Blue-Striped Nettle Caterpillar Moth (or Blue-Striped Nettle Grub Moth), Parasa lepida, subfamily Limacodinae, family Limacodidae (the slug moths or cup moths).
□ Such a beautiful adult moth, yet its common name refers to the caterpillar.
Photographed by: Surani Pratik. Thank you for the identification, Sanjay Sondhi! Identified by: Sanjay Sondhi, Titli Trust. Location: Navsari, Gujarat, India. Date: 27 October, 2017.

Tineidae (the fungus moths or tineid moths)
Gelechiidae (the twirler moths)

Fungus Moth, Erechthias simulans
Fungus Moth, Erechthias simulans, family Tineidae (the fungus moths).
□ This is a small moth with a wingspan just a little more than a half-inch (about 1.4 cm). Beneath the black-and-white forewings are a pair of feathery, gray hind wings. This is an introduced species to Hawaii and is becoming rather numerous.
Photographed by: Christian Moratin. Identified by: Daniel Rubinoff, University of Hawaii Manoa. Thank you Dr. Rubinoff! Location: Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii. Date: 12 April, 2018.
Curved-Horn Moth (possibly Platyedra subcinerea)
Curved-Horn Moth, possibly Cotton Stem Moth, Platyedra subcinerea, subfamily Apatetrinae, family Gelechiidae (the twirler moths).
□ The family Gelechiidae is part of a larger superfamily Gelechioidea. A characteristic of this superfamily is the pair of horns, which are really long, curved extensions of the insect’s labium (analogous to a lower lip). The extensions are called labial palps. This moth is only 6mm (1/4 inch) long.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size photos here and here. Identified by: moth specialist Dave Wikle. Thank you, Dave! Location: City of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 20 March, 2018.

Tortricidae (the tortricid moths)
Unidentified moths


Tortricid Moth (in the genus Eucosma)
Tortricid Moth in the genus Eucosma, family Tortricidae (the tortrichid moths).
□ This moth is very small, only about 1/3 inch long (about 8mm) from the tip of its head to the back of its folded wings. Such tiny moths are called microlepidoptera: “micro” referring to their small size and “Lepidoptera” referring to the moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera is the name of this insect order).
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size photo here. Identified by: moth specialist Dr. Christopher Grinter, collections manager of entomology, California Academy of Sciences, via moth specialist Dave Wikle. Location: City of South San Francisco, California, USA. Date: 6 March, 2018.
Tortricid Moth (in the genus Eucosma)
Tortricid Moth in the genus Eucosma, family Tortricidae (the tortrichid moths).
□ Moth specialist Dave Wikle notes that a definite identification is not possible from the photo because not all markings are visible, but even if they were, “there are so many close entities that dissection might be necessary to come to a determination. Such is the way of microlepidoptera!”
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size photo here. Identified by: moth specialist Dr. Christopher Grinter, collections manager of entomology, California Academy of Sciences, via moth specialist Dave Wikle. Location: City of South San Francisco, California, USA. Date: 6 March, 2018.
Moth
Moth.
Photographed by: Bethany Carter. Location: Traverse City, Grand Traverse County, Michigan, USA. Date: 30 June, 2014.


Caterpillars and pupae (moth and butterfly caterpillars)
Families represented below:
Erebidae, the tiger moths, lichen moths, and many others
Eupterotidae, the monkey moths
Geometridae, the geometer moths
Limacodidae, the slug moths or cup moths
Noctuidae, the owlet moths
Notodontidae, the prominent moths
Nymphalidae, the brush-footed butterflies
Papilionidae, the swallowtails
Psychidae, the bagworm moths
Saturniidae, the saturniid moths
Sphingidae, the hawk moths
Tineidae, the fungus moths or tineid moths


Geometridae, the geometer moths

Pero metamorphosis
Geometer Moth, metamorphosis from caterpillar to pupa, genus Pero, subfamily Ennominae, family Geometridae (the geometer moths).
□ The photographer found this caterpillar hanging from the tread of a car tire, and reared it in a small aquarium. In three days, it metamorphosed into the pupa shown here. See what happened next in the following photo.
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. To see the full-size images, click here for the caterpillar, and here for the pupa. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date (for caterpillar): 18 August, 2017. Date (for pupa): 21 August, 2017.
Pero metamorphosis
Geometer Moth, metamorphosis from pupa to adult, genus Pero, subfamily Ennominae, family Geometridae (the geometer moths).
□ Continued from the previous photo: The pupa darkened the following day, and a few weeks later, it transformed into this moth. This was all captured by photographer Thomas Langhans. Thank you, Thomas!
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. To see the full-size images, click here for the pupa, and here for the adult. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date (for pupa): 22 August, 2017. Date (for adult): 12 September, 2017.
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Noctuidae, the owlet moths

Agrotis ipsilon
Black Cutworm, which will metamorphose into an Ipsilon Dart Moth, Agrotis ipsilon, subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae (the owlet moths).
□ The pseudopods (the strange “feet”) are distinctive.
Photographed by: Dave Brigham. Identified with help from: entomologist Duke Elsner, WhatsThatBug.com, and KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Lansing, Michigan, USA. Date: July 2015.
Agrotis ipsilon
Black Cutworm, which will metamorphose into an Ipsilon Dart Moth, Agrotis ipsilon, subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae (the owlet moths).
□ Note the defensive posture!
Photographed by: Dave Brigham. Identified with help from: entomologist Duke Elsner, WhatsThatBug.com, and KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Lansing, Michigan, USA. Date: July 2015.
Cutworm
Cutworm, Spodoptera, probably a Cotton Cutworm, Spodoptera litura, subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae (the owlet moths).
□ The cutworm gets its name from its penchant for chewing through the base of seedlings. Many a gardener has found a series of little seedlings chopped down by cutworms.
Photographed by: Surani Pratik. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: India. Date: 18 August 2016.
Noctuine caterpillar
Noctuine caterpillar, subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae (the owlet moths).
□ Identifier David L. Wagner of the University of Connecticut, says this caterpillar could be in the genera Agrotis, Feltia or Euxoa, or something similar. He said this caterpillar likely feeds on dandelions and other forbs (forbs are non-grass flowering plants).
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: David L. Wagner, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut. Thank you, Dr. Wagner! See Thomas’s full-size images here and here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 9 September, 2017.
Dagger Moth caterpillar
American Dagger Moth caterpillar, Acronicta americana, subfamily Acronictinae, family Noctuidae (the owlet moths).
Photographed by: Jeffrey Landis. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA. Date: 5 June, 2013.
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Saturniidae, the saturniid moths

Luna Moth caterpillar (<i>Actias luna</i>)
Luna Moth caterpillar, Actias luna, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the saturniid moths).
□ The caterpillars of the Luna Moth and Polyphemus Moth look very similar. The most noticeable difference between the two is that the Polyphemus Moth caterpillar has a large gray “X” on its rear end, and the Luna Moth does not. To see the adult Luna Moth and Polyphemus Moth, which look nothing alike, click here to go up to the Saturniidae family section.
Photographed and identified by: Norine Nichols. Location: Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA. Date: 21 July 2016. Norine says, “It is huge and was sure moving at a good speed across the lawn.”
Luna Moth caterpillar (<i>Actias luna</i>)
Luna Moth caterpillar, Actias luna, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the saturniid moths).
Photographed by: Dawn Jenkins. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Houston area, Texas, United States. Date: 12 July 2017.
Giant Silk Moth caterpillar (<i>Arsenura armida</i>)
Giant Silk Moth caterpillar, Arsenura armida, subfamily Arsenurinae, family Saturniidae (the saturniid moths).
Photographed by: Liliane de Deus. Identified by: Dr. Manoel Martins Dias Filho. Our thanks also to Marcelo Renan Santos for acting as liaison! Location: Atlantic Forest at Linhares, Espirito Santo, Brazil. Date: 15 November 2016. Marcelo says this shot was taken in a cocoa plantation.
Imperial Moth pupa (Eacles imperialis)
Moth pupa, possibly the Imperial Moth, Eacles imperialis, subfamily Ceratocampinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silkworm and royal moths).
□ To see a photo of the adult Imperial Moth, click here. The pupa of a moth in the silkworm moth family looks very similar to the pupa of a moth in another family: the sphinx moths (Sphingidae). A major difference between the two is that a sphinx moth has a noticeable handle, while the silkworm moth does not. To see an image of a sphinx moth pupa with the handle, click here.
Photographed by: Vicki Barnes. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Independence, Missouri, USA. Date: 10 March, 2018. Vicki says, “I found this creature yesterday in my yard in northwest Missouri. At first I thought it was some type of cocoon, but it moved freely when I picked it up, and then I noticed the tiny double prongs on one end, with a possible minuscule opening underneath.”
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Limacodidae, the slug moths or cup moths

Saddleback caterpillar (<i>Acharia stimulea</i>)
Saddleback caterpillar, Acharia stimulea (formerly Sibene stimulea), subfamily Limacodinae, family Limacodidae (the slug moths or cup moths).
□ This family was once known as Euclidae.
Photographed by: S. Statham. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Andrews, North Carolina, USA. Date: August, 2015.
Saddleback caterpillar (<i>Acharia stimulea</i>)
Saddleback caterpillar, Acharia stimulea (formerly Sibene stimulea), subfamily Limacodinae, family Limacodidae (the slug moths or cup moths).
□ The bright colors serve as a warning sign for this caterpillar. It has dozens of stinging spines, so the warning is for humans too!
Photographed by: Lyle Sloane. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Ashland, Kentucky, USA. Date: 28 September, 2017. Lyle says this caterpillar was stuck to the glass of his back door “with some kind of suction.”
Monkey Slug caterpillar (<i>Phobetron pithecium</i>)
Monkey Slug caterpillar, Phobetron pithecium,, family Limacodidae (the slug moths or cup moths).
□ This unusual-looking caterpillar will eventually become a hag moth, which is a pretty, brown, patterned moth with a white poof of fuzz on its middle leg.
Photographed by: Partha Bagchi. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Partha took this photo on his deck. Location: Centreville, near Wilmington, Delaware, USA. Date: 5 September, 2016.
Slug caterpillar (<i>Tortricidia</i>)
Slug Caterpillar Moth in the genus Tortricidia, family Limacodidae (the slug moths or cup moths).
□ This is likely one of three species: the Red-Crossed Button Slug Moth (Tortricidia pallid), the Early Button Slug Moth (Tortricidia testacea), or the Abbreviated Button Slug Moth (Tortricidia flexuosa).
Photographed by: Julie Baldwin. Identified by: entomologist Duke Elsner. Thank you, Dr. Elsner! Location: near Lansing, Michigan, USA. Date: 26 July, 2017. Julie found this half-inch-long caterpillar at a campground. Dr. Elsner says, “Cool find.”
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Notodontidae, the prominent moths
Tineidae, the fungus moths or tineid moths

Heterocampa umbrata
White-Blotched Heterocampa, Heterocampa umbrata, subfamily Heterocampinae, family Notodontidae (the prominent moths).
□ The hot-pink color fades as it grows, and it eventually metamorphoses into a patterned gray, ivory and brownish moth.
Photographed by: Daiana Rodriguez. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Prince Frederick, Maryland, USA. Date: September 2016.
Add your photo here! Bagworm (<i>Phereoeca</i> spp)
Larva of a Plaster Bagworm, Phereoeca uterella, or a Household Casebearer, Phereoeca allutella, subfamily Tineinae, family Tineidae (the fungus moths or tineid moths).
□ The larva lives within this case or “bag,” which it constructs using its silk along with other materials from its surroundings. When the larva moves, it sticks its head and front legs out of the case, grabs the surface, and then drags the case along in a kind of scooting motion. Photographed by: Boc Villamor. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org Location: Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Date: 28 January, 2017. In his wonderful (and fun!) description, Boc says, “I’m not actually sure if this is an insect or an alien creature from Saturn. I often see these on the upper part of walls in my house and sometimes on the ceiling (near a wall) and for the longest time ... I thought these were lizard poop. To my surprise this morning, I saw one inching its way up!”

Psychidae, the bagworm moths

Bagworm moth
Bagworm moth, family Psychidae (the bagworm moths).
□ Bagworm caterpillars and adult females make sacs or bags, and drag their bags with them. The bags hide the moths and help protect them from predators.
Photographed by: Jack Rotoli. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Florida Keys, Florida, USA. Date: 24 July, 2017. Jack says, “It’s about an inch long... There was movement.”
Bagworm moth
Bagworm moth, family Psychidae (the bagworm moths).
□ This is what the previous photo looked like just a day later.
Photographed by: Jack Rotoli. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Florida Keys, Florida, USA. Date: 25 July, 2017. Jack says, “Now it’s in a rock-hard cocoon.”
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Evergreen bagworm moth, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis
Evergreen Bagworm Moth, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis, subfamily Oiketicinae, family Psychidae (the bagworm moths).
□ The Evergreen Bagworm caterpillar spins silk around bark, leaves and needles to make the “bag,” which provides a nice protective home. The caterpillar pokes its head and front legs out of the bag (as shown here) and drags it around. In late summer, the caterpillar will climb into a tree and hang the bags — again using silk — from twigs. It then pupates and becomes an adult moth. The male moth has wings, but the adult female never gets wings. Instead, she still remains in the bag and lays her eggs there.
Photographed by: Maureen King. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Long Island, New York, USA. Date: 24 August, 2017. Maureen says, “Never saw this type of bug here on Long Island.”
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Sphingidae, the hawk moths

Hawkmoth caterpillar, probably Oleander Hawkmoth (<i>Daphnis nerii</i>)
Hawkmoth caterpillar, probably Oleander Hawkmoth, Daphnis nerii, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae (the hawk moths).
Photographed by: Alain Ritchie C. Quisumbing. Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Date: 23 March, 2016.
Snowberry Clearwing Moth caterpillar (<i>Hemaris diffinis</i>)
Snowberry Clearwing Moth caterpillar, Hemaris diffinis, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae (the hawk moths).
Photographed and identified by: Kelly McKinne (@gonzonaturalist). Location: Perrysburg, Ohio, USA. Date: 16 October, 2012.
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Greater Death's Head Hawkmoth caterpillar (Acherontia lachesis )
Greater Death’s Head Hawkmoth(also known as a Bee Robber), caterpillar, Acherontia lachesis, subfamily Sphinginae, family Sphingidae (the hawk moths).
□ The Greater Death’s Head Hawkmoth caterpillar may be yellow with purple markings, or green with white markings (as shown in the next photo). This species gets its common name because of the pattern on top of the adult’s thorax, which looks rather like a human skull. The alternate common name of Bee Robber is related to the adult’s behavior: It infiltrates a honey bee hive, steals the honey, and escapes unharmed. It is able to accomplish this by giving off a honey bee scent, which fools the bees into thinking the Bee Robber is one of their own.
Photographed by: Spoorthi Sv. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Shivamogga (Shimoga), Karnataka state, southwest India. Date: 7 March, 2018.
Greater Death's Head Hawkmoth caterpillar (Acherontia lachesis )
Greater Death’s Head Hawkmoth (also known as a Bee Robber), caterpillar, Acherontia lachesis, subfamily Sphinginae, family Sphingidae (the hawk moths).
□ This photo of the Greater Death’s Head Hawkmoth provides a nice view of its “tail” or horn. The similar looking Tomato Hornworm caterpillar and Tobacco Hornworm caterpillar both have much smoother horns, as shown elsewhere on this page.
Photographed by: K J Westman. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Pamunugama, Sri Lanka. Date: 14 March, 2018.
Tobacco Hornworm caterpillar, Manduca sexta
Tobacco Hornworm caterpillar, Manduca sexta, subfamily Sphinginae, family Sphingidae (the hawk moths).
□ The Tomato Hornworm caterpillar and the Tobacco Hornworm caterpillar look very similar. One way to tell them apart is that the Tomato Hornworm’s “horn” is blue to black, and the Tobacco Hornworm’s “horn” is red (as shown here).
Photographed and identified by: Randi Wilcoxen. Location: Grand Traverse County, Michigan, USA. Date: 8 September, 2013.
Tobacco Hornworm caterpillar (<i>Manduca sexta</i>)
Tobacco Hornworm caterpillar, Manduca sexta, subfamily Sphinginae, family Sphingidae (the hawk moths).
□ Another way to tell the Tomato Hornworm caterpillar and the Tobacco Hornworm caterpillar apart is that the Tobacco Hornworm has a black outline on its white stripes, and the Tomato Hornworm does not.
Photographed by: Jennifer Wiggins. Location: Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Date: 12 July, 2017.
Tobacco Hornworm caterpillar (<i>Manduca sexta</i>)
Tobacco Hornworm caterpillar covered with Braconid Wasp Cocoons, Manduca sexta, subfamily Sphinginae, family Sphingidae (the hawk moths).
□ Hornworms are often infested with wasps in the family Braconidae. It is clearly visible in this photo of dozens of wasp cocoons on this unfortunate caterpillar. Find out more in the next photo.
Photographed and identified as a hornworm by: Jeff Goff. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: near Munising, Michigan, USA. Date: 8 August, 2016. Jeff took this photo of the still-living hornworm in a coneflower meadow.
Tobacco Hornworm caterpillar (<i>Manduca sexta</i>)
Tobacco Hornworm caterpillar covered with Braconid Wasp Cocoons, Manduca sexta, subfamily Sphinginae, family Sphingidae (the hawk moths).
□ The adult female braconid wasp lays her eggs just under the skin of the caterpillar. The eggs hatch into larvae, which eat the innards of the caterpillar. The caterpillar remains alive, but it begins to weaken as the larvae devour more and more of its internal tissues. Once the larvae grow large enough, they emerge through the caterpillar’s skin to form these white cocoons. The hornworn typically dies soon after the adults finally break out of the cocoons.
Photographed and identified as a hornworm by: Jeff Goff. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: near Munising, Michigan, USA. Date: 8 August, 2016.
Tomato Hornworm caterpillar (<i>Manduca quinquemaculata</i>)
Hornworm caterpillar, likely Tomato Hornworm, Manduca quinquemaculata, subfamily Sphinginae, family Sphingidae (the hawk moths).
□ A typical Tomato Hornworm caterpillar has white stripes without black outlining, along with blue to black coloration on its “horn”. This individual has the former characterstic, but not the latter.
Photographed by: Carlo Castoro. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Date: 7 January, 2018.

Erebidae, the erebid moths

Milkweed Tussock Moth
Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillar, Euchaetes egle, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae (the erebid moths).
Photographed and identified by: Randi Wilcoxen. Location: Grand Traverse County, Michigan, USA. Date: 8 September, 2013.
Banded Tussock Moth (<i>Halysidota tessellaris</i>)
Banded Tussock Moth, Halysidota tessellaris, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae (the erebid moths).
Photographed and identified by: Partha Bagchi. Partha took this photo on his deck. Note the different coloration between this banded tussock moth and the specimen in the next photo. Location: Centreville, near Wilmington, Delaware, USA. Date: 11 September, 2016.
Banded Tussock Moth (<i>Halysidota tessellaris</i>)
Banded Tussock Moth caterpillar, Halysidota tessellaris, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae (the erebid moths).
Photographed and identified by: Randi Wilcoxen. Location: Grand Traverse County, Michigan, USA. Date: 8 September, 2013.
Yellow Woolly Bear (<i>Spilosoma virginica</i>)
Yellow Woolly Bear, the caterpillar of the Virginia tiger moth Spilosoma virginica, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae (the erebid moths).
□ This one is a little worse for the wear — usually Yellow Woolly Bears are quite fluffy-looking.
Photographed and identified by: Randi Wilcoxen. Location: Grand Traverse County, Michigan, USA. Date: 8 September, 2013.
Sycamore tussock moth (Halysidota harrisii)
Sycamore Tussock Moth caterpillar, Halysidota harrisii, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae (the erebid moths).
□ The adult moth is cream-colored with tan markings on its wings and two, thin, green-blue stripes running down its thorax.
Photographed by: Dave Delman. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: New York, USA. Date: 23 July, 2017.
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Tussock Moth Caterpillar (possibly <i>Dasychira meridionalis</i>)
Tussock Moth caterpillar, possibly Southern Tussock Moth, Dasychira meridionalis, subfamily Lymantriinae (the tussock moths), family Erebidae (the erebid moths).
□ Note: In some classification systems, the subfamily Lymantriinae is elevated to family. In that case, this caterpillar would be listed as being a member of the Lymantriidae family.
Photographed by: Randy Jenkins. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Houston area, Texas, United States. Date: 13 June, 2017.
Yellow Hairy Caterpillar (<i>Psalis pennatula</i>)
Yellow Hairy Caterpillar, Psalis pennatula, subfamily Lymantriinae, family Erebidae (the erebid moths).
□ If you look carefully, you’ll see four yellow tufts on the front half of the caterpillar (the head is on the left). Note: In some classification systems, the subfamily Lymantriinae is elevated to family. In that case, this caterpillar would be listed as being a member of the Lymantriidae family.
Photographed by: Surani Pratik. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: India. Date: 13 February, 2017. Surani says this was in the sugarcane crop (and it is indeed a pest of sugarcane).
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Nymphalidae, the brush-footed butterflies

Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar (<i>Danaus plexippus</i>)
Monarch Butterfly caterpillar, Danaus plexippus, subfamily Danainae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Michigan, USA. Date: 21 June, 2012.
Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar (<i>Danaus plexippus</i>)
Monarch Butterfly caterpillar, Danaus plexippus, subfamily Danainae, family Nymphalidae (the brush-footed butterflies).
Photographed and identified by: Janice Thies. Location: Boone County (near Hartsburg), Missouri, USA. Date: 13 May, 2017. Jan says, “Monarch caterpillar 🐛 devouring my lovely butterfly weed plant.”
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Papilionidae, the swallowtails
Eupterotidae, the monkey moths


Papilionid caterpillar
Papilionid caterpillar, family Papilionidae (the swallowtails).
Photographed by: Spoorthi Sv. Identified to family by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Shivamogga (Shimoga), Karnataka state, southwest India. Date: 7 March, 2018.
Add your photo here! Skull-Face Moringa Caterpillar (Eupterote mollifera)
Skull-Face Moringa Caterpillar in the genus Eupterote, probably Eupterote mollifera, subfamily Eupterotinae, family Eupterotidae (the monkey moths).
□ This is known as Skull-Face Moringa Caterpillar, because its face does look rather like a skull, especially when viewed head-on. To see another nice head-on photo, click here.
Photographed by: K J Westman. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Nitulemada, Digana, Rajawella, Kandy, Sri Lanka. Date: 23 March, 2016.


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Unless noted otherwise, photographs on this website are the property of the photographers and may not be reused without written permission from the photographers. To obtain permission, request it here.

Photos at the top of this website are (from left to right): potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) — photo credit: Scott Bauer, U.S. Department of Agriculture; ebony jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata)— photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; sweat bee (Agapostemon splendens) — photo credit: Natalie Allen and Stephanie Kolski, U.S. Geological Survey; preying mantis, monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), hellgrammite (aka toe biter) larva and eyed click beetle (Alaus oculatus) — photo credit: Leslie Mertz; Halloween pennant (Celithemis eponina) — photo credit: Kay Meng, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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