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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!

Adult Moths of Order Lepidoptera — Examples
For adult butterflies, click here.
For moth/butterfly caterpillars and pupae, click here.


Families represented below:
Adelidae Apatelodidae Attevidae Blastobasidae Batrachedridae Batrachedridae Choreutidae
Crambidae Depressariidae Erebidae Eupterotidae Gelechiidae Geometridae Lasiocampidae
Limacodidae Noctuidae Oecophoridae Psychidae Pterophoridae Pyralidae Saturniidae
Sesiidae Sphingidae Thyrididae Tineidae Tortricidae Uraniidae Unidentified

Geometridae, the geometer moths

Geometrid moths, Paro spp.
Geometrid moths, mating pair, in the genus Pero, subfamily Ennominae, family Geometridae.
□ These photos show a mating pair of geometrid moths with the wings folded and spread.
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 images here and here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 19 May, 2017.
Moth (Pero spp.)
Geometrid moth, pupa and adult, in the genus Pero, subfamily Ennominae, family Geometridae.
□ The adult geometrid 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.”
Clouded Silver moth (Lomographa temerata)
Clouded Silver moth, Lomographa temerata, subfamily Ennominae, family Geometridae.
□ The “clouded” part of the clouded silver is the dark smudge at the rear of the forewings. This species often appears more gray than the brown seen here.
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: Ivybridge, South Hams, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 29 July, 2018.
Scalloped Oak Moth (Crocallis elinguaria)
Scalloped Oak moth, Crocallis elinguaria, subfamily Ennominae, family Geometridae.
□ 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.
Large Maple Spanworm Moth (Prochoerodes lineola)
Large Maple Spanworm Moth, Prochoerodes lineola, subfamily Ennominae, family Geometridae.
□ The large maple spanworm moth has a wingspan of about 2 inches (5 cm). This species has quite a bit of variation. Most, like this one, have wings that are half light brown and half slightly darker brown, separated by a thin, dark line. Some also have a zig-zag line through the hind wings and yet another swervy line through the forewings.
Photographed and identified to order by: Cathy Dyer. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Date: 6 September, 2019.
Cathy spotted this moth on her birdhouse.
Black Looper (Hyposidra talaca)
Geometrid moth, possibly a black looper, Hyposidra talaca, subfamily Ennominae, family Geometridae.
□ The black looper is a pest of tea plants, and will defoliate these plants. It is also a pest of other cash crops, such as teak.
Photographed and identified to order by: Shefali Chaudhari. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Malotha, Tapi, Gujarat, India. Date: 22 December, 2018.
Swallow-Tailed Moth (Ourapteryx sambucaria)
Swallow-tailed moth, Ourapteryx sambucaria, subfamily Ennominae, family Geometridae.
□ The soft beige banding on this swallow-tailed moth give this moth a neat appearance. This species is a large moth with a wingspan of up to 5 cm (2 inches). Note: There is another family of moths known as Swallow-Tailed Moths, the Uraniidae, which is listed elsewhere on this page.
Photographed and identified to order by: John Serenyi. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Near Cheltenham, UK. Date: 1 July, 2019.
Slant-Lines Moth (Tetracis spp.)
Slant-lines moth in the genus Tetracis, subfamily Ennominae, family Geometridae.
Slant-lines moths have a thin line across each forewing. In some species, the line is faint, but it is quite noticeable in many (like this one).
Photographed and identified to order by: Judy Cok. Identified to genus by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Castro Valley, California, USA. Date: 8 March, 2020.
Geometrid Moth (Pterotaea lamiaria)
Geometrid moth, possibly Pterotaea lamiaria or Common Gray (Anavitrinella pampinaria), subfamily Ennominae, family Geometridae.
Geometrid moths in the two species Pterotaea lamiaria and Anavitrinella pampinaria have quite a bit of variation and no bold pattern to make identification easy. If you happen to be a moth expert and would like to help with a definitive identification, please contact us!
Photographed and identified to order by: John Vixie. Identified to subfamily by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Fresno area, central California, USA. Date: 22 September, 2019.
Pug Moth, Green Pug (Pasiphila rectangulata or Eupithecia spp.)
Pug moth, perhaps a green pug, Pasiphila rectangulata (but possibly in the genus Eupithecia), subfamily Larentiinae, family Geometridae.
Green pug moths can be lime green, bluish green, or mainly shades of brown, as seen here.
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.
Pug Moth, Larch Pug Moth (Eupithecia annulata)
Pug moth, perhaps a larch pug moth, Eupithecia annulata, subfamily Larentiinae, family Geometridae.
Larch pug moths have striped legs, and a thin, broken dark line as well as a series of dark spots on the trailing edge of each wing. These two beautiful photos show the top and bottom views of this moth, which the photographer described as having a wingspan of about 21 mm, and a body of about 8 mm long.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified tentatively to genus by: Richard L. Brown, Ph.D., director of the Mississippi Entomological Museum and W.L. Giles Distinguished Professor at Mississippi State University. Thank you, Dr. Brown! See Thomas’ full-size images here and here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 28 April, 2018.
Common Eupithecia (Eupithecia miserulata)
Common eupithecia, Eupithecia miserulata, subfamily Larentiinae, family Geometridae.
□ The common eupithecia is found in the eastern half of the United States, southeastern Canada, and along the U.S. West Coast. The small dark spot on each forewing, as well as the crescent shape separating the abdomen into a front dark section and rear light section help to identify this species, which the photographer described as having a wingspan of about 22 mm and a body about 8 mm long.
□ This species is sometimes called a Common Pug.
Photographed and identified to family by: Thomas Langhans. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Thomas’ full-size image here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 7 July, 2020.
Thomas says this one showed up on his screen door.
Yellow Shell Moth (Camptogramma bilineata)
Yellow shell moth, Camptogramma bilineata, subfamily Larentiinae, family Geometridae.
□ The yellow shell moth has pretty shell-like markings on its forewings that come in shades of yellow and sometimes orange or peach (like this one). In addition, this moth has three, thin, zig-zag bands across its forewings, and very thin bands circling its abdomen (they are just barely seen in this photo). Some individuals have a row o faint circles in the middle of each forewing.
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: Ivybridge, South Hams, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 3 August, 2019.
Bryan says, “Pleased to get a shot of this Yellow Shell Moth (Camptogramma bilineata) on my morning walk.”
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Add your photo here! Common Carpet Moth (Epirrhoe alternata)
Common carpet moth, also known as a white-banded toothed carpet moth, Epirrhoe alternata, subfamily Larentiinae, family Geometridae.
□ This species in common in Europe, hence the name common carpet moth, but is also found in the United States, where it is called the White-Banded Toothed Carpet Moth. Its wingspan is about 2.5 cm (1 inch).
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: Ivybridge, South Hams, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 28 June, 2018.
Bryan says, “Called a carpet moth because is lays so flat!”
Common Carpet Moth (Epirrhoe alternata)
Common carpet moth, also known as a white-banded toothed carpet moth, Epirrhoe alternata, subfamily Larentiinae, family Geometridae.
□ The common carpet moth has a bit of variation in its color, but the wide white band and thinner, scalloped band are common features.
Photographed and identified by: Jean-Louis Metzger. Location: Oxford, England, UK. Date: 11 May, 2018.
Common Carpet Moth (Epirrhoe alternata)
Common carpet moth, also known as a white-banded toothed carpet moth, Epirrhoe alternata, subfamily Larentiinae, family Geometridae.
□ The common carpet moth has a short fringe of hairs at the edge of its wings.
□ It is sometimes called a white-banded toothed carpet moth. This specimen has yellowish bands but many have stark-white ones.
Photographed and identified by: Jean-Louis Metzger. Location: Oxford, England, UK. Date: 11 May, 2018.
Galium Carpet Moth (Epirrhoe galiata)
Galium carpet moth, Epirrhoe galiata, subfamily Larentiinae, family Geometridae.
□ The galium carpet moth has a broad and wavy dark band across the center of each forewing.
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: Ivybridge, South Hams, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 22 July, 2019.
Moth
Geometrid moth in the genus Epirrhoe, subfamily Larentiinae, family Geometridae.
□ Many of the geometrid moths in the genus Epirrhoe have irregular bands running across the forewings, as seen here.
Photographed by: Syed Gazanfar. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Kashmir, India. Date: 4 April, 2019.

Brown bark carpet moth, Horisme intestinata, subfamily Larentiinae, family Geometridae.
□ With the wavy brown pattern on its wings, the brown bark carpet moth would be perfectly camouflaged against the bark of a tree.
Photographed by: Denise Rulason. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Mayville, Michigan USA. Date: 1 June, 2018.
Chickweed Geometer (<i>Haematopis grataria</i>)
Chickweed geometer, Haematopis grataria, subfamily Sterrhinae, family Geometridae.
□ This little chickweed geometer has raspberry streaks on a yellow background. Its genus name of Haematopis (Haema means blood) is believed to refer to the reddish, blood-like color of the streaks, although they are actually more pink than blood-red.
Photographed and identified by: Kelly McKinne (@gonzonaturalist). Location: Michigan, USA. Date: 10 August, 2012.
Geometrid moth, Thalassodes or Pelagodes spp.
Geometrid moth in the genus Thalassodes or Pelagodes, subfamily Geometrinae, family Geometridae.
□ The photographer describes this geometrid moth as a light-blue or sapphire in color. Note: The genus Thalassodes has now been split into four genera — Thalassodes, Pelagodes, Orothalassodes and Remiformvalva — and this moth can be found in the literature listed as both Thalassodes and Pelagodes.
Photographed by: Syed Gazanfar. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Kashmir, India. Date: 2 September, 2018.
Geometrid moth, Thalassodes or Pelagodes spp.
Geometrid moth in the genus Thalassodes or Pelagodes, subfamily Geometrinae, family Geometridae.
□ The lime-green color of this geometrid moth is a stand-out! Note: The genus Thalassodes has now been split into four genera — Thalassodes, Pelagodes, Orothalassodes and Remiformvalva — and this moth can be found in the literature listed as both Thalassodes and Pelagodes.
Photographed by: Debajit Saha. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: West Bengal, India. Date: 5 June, 2018.
Showy Emerald (Dichorda iridaria)
Showy emerald, Dichorda iridaria, subfamily Geometrinae, family Geometridae.
□ Several white-striped, green moths live in North America, but this showy emerald can be distinguished by its broader white stripes that are bordered by a shadow of darker green, and a little grayish brown color at the leading edge of the forewings (just visible near the head in this shot). The showy emerald’s wingspan is only about an inch (2.5 cm), so it is a relatively small moth.
Photographed by: Kim Minard. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Seeley’s Bay, Ontario, Canada. Date: 31 July, 2020.
Geometrid moth
Geometrid moth<, family Geometridae.
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.
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.
Geometrid moth
Geometrid moth, family Geometridae.
□ These photos of a geometrid moth 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.
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Attevidae, the tropical ermine moths

Ailanthus Webworm Moth (<i>Atteva aurea</i>)
Ailanthus webworm moth, Atteva aurea, subfamily Attevinae, family Attevidae.
□ With that bright coloration and cool pattern, the ailanthus webworm moth 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 ailanthus webworm 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.
□ Here are different views of the ailanthus webworm 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.
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 ailanthus webworm 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.”
Ailanthus Webworm Moth (<i>Atteva aurea</i>)
Ailanthus webworm moth, Atteva aurea, subfamily Attevinae, family Attevidae.
□ The photographer provides the best description of the ailanthus webworm moth ever: “It looks like one of Marcia Brady’s dresses, or a part of a 1960s couch that got up and walked away.”
Photographed and identified by: Kyle A. Lengerich. Location: Greenwood, Indiana, USA. Date: 17 July, 2018.
Kyle says, “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
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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 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.”.
Morning Glory Plume Moth (Emmelina monodactyla)
Morning glory plume moth, Emmelina monodactyla, subfamily Pterophorinae, family Pterophoridae.
□ The morning glory plume moth is found across the globe from Europe, where this one was seen, to Japan and other spots in central Asia, as well as North America and northern Africa.
Photographed by: Eugenia Raciov. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Sankt Pantaleon-Erla, Austria. Date: 31 October, 2019.
Eugenia says, “I can release it now that I know what it is.... Funny, i lived most of my life caring for fruit trees, including plums ....never noticed it. I guess we learn everyday something new.”.
White Plume Moth (Pterophorus pentadactyla)
White plume moth, Pterophorus pentadactyla, subfamily Pterophorinae, family Pterophoridae.
□ The white plume moth’s scientific name of pentadactyla literally means five fingers, referring to the noticeable, finger-like veins in its wings. An all-white species, it also has thin but long spines on its legs.
Photographed by: Arbud Lala. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: India. Date: 11 August, 2019.
Plume moth
Plume moth, quite possibly a geranium plume moth, Amblyptilia pica, subfamily Pterophorinae, family Pterophoridae.
Geranium plume moth caterpillars feed on geraniums, as well as other plants, and the adults appreciate a sip of willow nectar.
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 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.”
Beautiful Plume Moth (Amblyptilia acanthadactyla)
Beautiful plume moth, Amblyptilia acanthadactyla, subfamily Pterophorinae, family Pterophoridae.
□ Features of the beautiful plume moth are the dark triangle and whitish oval toward the outside of each forewing. Notice also the fine fringe of hairs. The hairs actually extend from the hind wings (not seen in this photo), and interestingly, the hind wing is actually separated into three lobes. To see the hind wing, click here.
Photographed and identified by: Jean-Louis Metzger. Location: Headington, Oxford, UK. Date: 12 August, 2014.
Add your photo here! Tamarisk Plume Moth (Agdistis tamaricis)
Tamarisk plume moth, Agdistis tamaricis, subfamily Agdistinae, family Pterophoridae.
□ This tamarisk plume moth and other species in the genus Agdistis hold their wings out to the front when they are at rest, 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.
Himmelman's Plume Moth
Himmelman’s plume moth, Geina tenuidactylus, subfamily Pterophorinae, family Pterophoridae.
□ The plume moths look little like typical moths, so it is easy to see why people think they are a different insect altogether (see the comment below). Himmelman’s plume moth is especially strange with its spiny legs.
Submitted by: Sam George. Photographed by: Linda Guenard Lyell. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Arkansas, USA. Date: 29 May, 2019.
Sam says, “We thought it might be a crane fly, but cannot find one that looks like this.” KnowYourInsects.org says, “Crane fly was a great guess, particularly with its narrow wings that it holds straight out to the sides, but it is indeed a moth!”
Himmelman's Plume Moth
Himmelman’s plume moth, Geina tenuidactylus, subfamily Pterophorinae, family Pterophoridae.
□The fringe on the wings really shows up nicely in this photo of Himmelman’s plume moth(see comment below). This moth has a couple of other common names, including slender-lobed plume and berry plume moth. The latter name comes from its caterpillars fondness for the leaves of blackberry bushes.
Photographed by: Joey Williams (@adventuring_dad). Submitted by: Maria Williams. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Quantico, Virginia, USA. Date: 8 June, 2020.
Joey says, “Never would have guessed that to be a moth! Took me probably 30 shots to get this one.”
Plume Moth
Plume moth, family Pterophoridae.
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.
□ On close inspection, the “hairs” at the rear of the wings of this plume moth are visible.
Plume Moth, family Pterophoridae.
Photographed by: Marv Goldberg. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: near Tamarac, Florida, USA. Date: Unknown.
Plume Moth
Plume moth, family Pterophoridae.
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.” Bill 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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Plume Moth, Pterophorinae
Plume moth, subfamily Pterophorinae, family Pterophoridae.
□ From left to right, these three images of this plume moth show a top view, bottom view, and side view.
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See Thomas’ full-size images here, here and here. Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 9 December, 2019.
Plume Moth
Plume moth, family Pterophoridae.
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).”

Depressariidae, the depressarid moths

Semul Shoot Borer (Tonica niviferana)
Semul shoot borer, Tonica niviferana, family Depressariidae.
□ The unusual-looking Semul Shoot Borer has little hair tufts that stand up on its wings. Its antennae are hair-like and extend back, laying on the wings in this photo, so they are almost impossible to see. (Thank you to Dr. Richard Brown of the Mississippi Entomological Museum for clarifying the Depressariidae classification.)
Photographed and identified to order by: Shefali Chaudhari. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Flori. farm, NAU, Navsari, Gujarat. Date: 10 December, 2018.
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Saturniidae, the saturniid moths

Luna moth (Actias luna)
Luna moth, Actias luna, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae.
□ 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.
□ Note the size of the luna moth against the photographer’s hand in the background, and see her comment below.
Photographed by: Pat Cooper. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: West Liberty, Kentucky, USA. Date: 5 May, 2018.
Pat says she took the photo at her cabin on the outskirts of the Daniel Boone National Forest. She says, “That moth is huge, and I have never seen one. Its actual wingspan is about 3 inches across (that’s 7.6 cm!) , so it’s a quite impressive insect.”
Luna Moth (<i>Actias luna</i>)
Luna moth, Actias luna, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae.
□ Here is a nice shot of a mating pair of luna moths that the photographer found on his door. See his comment below.
Photographed and identified by: Tony L. Location: central New Jersey, USA. Date: 24 May, 2018.
Tony says, “I have a sweet gum tree in my yard about 20 ft. from that door — that’s why I imagine they show up here.”
Luna Moth (<i>Actias luna</i>)
Luna moth, Actias luna, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae.
□ This shot shows the luna moth is all its splendor, including the long swallowtail and eyespots on the hind wings.
Photographed and identified by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Location: Hopewell, Virginia, USA. Date: July 2014.
Luna Moth (Actias luna)
Luna moth, emerging adult, Actias luna, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae.
□ The photographer caught this luna moth going through the last stage of its metamorphosis. It is emerging from its pupa and beginning to expand its wings.
Photographed and identified to order by: Stephanie Crump. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: South Shore Kentucky, USA. Date: 26 April, 2020.
Stephanie found it under her porch. She says, “Beautiful.” KnowYourInsects.org agrees wholeheartedly.
Imperial Moth (Eacles imperialis)
Imperial moth, Eacles imperialis, subfamily Ceratocampinae, family Saturniidae.
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.
Imperial Moth (<i>Eacles imperialis</i>)
Imperial moth, Eacles imperialis, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
□ The imperial moth is yellow with purplish-brown, sometimes pinkish-brown, patches and speckles. Male have more purplish-brown on his forewings; females have less. That suggests this is a male, but to verify, it would be necessary to see the antennae. In this photo, the moth has its antennae laid down over its back (a typical resting pose), so they are not visible. Males have antennae that are comb-like (pectinate) for about two-thirds of their length and then taper to a thin structure for the last one-third. Females have antennae that are thin the whole length.
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 moth is a large moth with a wingspan of 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 the cecropia moth 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.
Add your photo here! Promethea Moth (Callosamia promethea)
Promethea moth, male, Callosamia promethea, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
□ The promethea moth 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.
Polyphemus Moth (<i>Anthera polyphemus</i>)
Polyphemus moth, Anthera polyphemus, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
Photographed and identified by: Heather Krise. Location: southeast Ohio, USA. Date: 6 July, 2020.
Polyphemus Moth (<i>Anthera polyphemus</i>)
Polyphemus moth, Anthera polyphemus, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
□ The big hindwing eyespots of this Polyphemus moth 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 (<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 (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!”
Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus)
Polyphemus moth, male, Antheraea polyphemus, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
□ This image of a polyphemus moth provides a great view of both the male’s wide, plumose antennae, and how closely this moth holds its wings. The female has plumose antennae, but not as wide as the male’s.
Photographed and identified as a moth by: Alan Crawford. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Windham, New Hampshire, USA. Date: 20 July, 2020.
Alan says, “This is the first time any one in our area has seen this beauty. Hopefully it’s a sign of good changes to come.” KnowYourInsects.org says, “Hear, here!”
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 of this polyphemus moth!
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).
□ The underside of the wings in the polyphemus moth have a noticeable outline of a small oval shape behind a patch of dark brown.
Photographed by: Bethany Carter. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Traverse City, Grand Traverse County, Michigan, USA. Date: 30 June, 2014.
Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas)
Atlas moth, Attacus atlas, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
□ One of the largest moths on the planet, the atlas moth has a wingspan of near one foot. With its forewings and hindwings spread out completely (the hind wing is hidden in this photo), it measures up to 11.8 inches (30 cm) from side to side by 5.25 inches (13 cm) front to back — that’s a big moth! This one was photographed at a butterfly exhibit. It is native to southern and eastern Asia.
Photographed by: Marv Goldberg. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Butterfly World, Coconut Creek, Florida, USA. Date: July, 2010.
Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas)
Atlas moth, Attacus atlas, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
□ As with most moths, the male atlas moth has has feathery antennae, as seen here. Compare this to the other photo of an Atlas Moth on this page to see the variation in the wing patterns. This specimen was photographed at a butterfly exhibit. It is native to southern and eastern Asia.
Photographed by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Butterfly Rainforest, Gainesville, Florida, USA. Date: 25 May, 2018.
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Silk Moth (Copaxa syntheratoides)
Silk moth, male, Copaxa syntheratoides, subfamily Saturniinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
□ This large silk moth has two color forms: peach-pink as seen here, and yellow-brown with more obvious dark striping in the wings. In both forms, each of its four wings have a single small eyespot (the two in the hind wings are hidden beneath the forewings in this photo).
Photographed by: Rachel Zott. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Costa Rica. Date: 23 May, 2020.
Regal Moth (Citheronia regalis)
Regal moth, also known as a royal walnut moth, Citheronia regalis, subfamily Ceratocampinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
□ The caterpillar of the Regal moth goes by the name of hickory horned devil and can grow to nearly 6 inches (15 cm) long! To learn more about this fascinating moth from the University of Florida, click here.
Photographed and identified by: Kelly McKinne (@gonzonaturalist). Location: Lorane, Pennsylvania, USA. Date: July 7, 2017.
Regal Moth (Citheronia regalis)
Regal moth, also known as a royal walnut moth, Citheronia regalis, subfamily Ceratocampinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
□ This Regal moth has just emerged from its pupa, so its wings aren’t fully developed yet. As a caterpillar, it goes through several stages that look quite different: one is brown and covered short and long multi-pronged spikes, and another is bright green with long and curved black-tipped red horns near its head.
Photographed by: Andrea Thompson. Submitted by: Michael P. Bonner. Location: Lake Nockamixon, Quakertown, Pennsylvania, USA. Date: July 7, 2017.
Michael says it was about 3 inches (7.6 cm) long.
Io Moth (Automeris io)
Io moth, Automeris io, subfamily Hemileucinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
□ The female io moth (shown here) is red to dark purplish-red, while the male is yellow — quite the contrast! Although hidden in these photos, both male and female have large eyespots on their hind wings. See the eyespot and the male by clicking here (bugguide.net). This is a large moth species, as the photographer notes below.
Photographed and identified by: Photographed by: Marv Goldberg. Location: Tamarac, Florida, USA. Date: 23 April, 2020.
Marv says, “This little (one) was at least three inches long.”
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Rosy Maple Moth (Dryocampa rubicunda)
Rosy maple moth, Dryocampa rubicunda, subfamily Ceratocampinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
□ The rosy maple moth is pretty in pink ... and creamy yellow. Even its legs and the middle of its belly are pink. The color pattern seen here is typical for this moth, but some individuals can have considerably more or less pink on the forewings. A population in Missouri is almost all white or with just a little pink on the edges of the wings. For more about this lovely pastel beauty, click here.
Photographed and identified to order by: Brianna Sutterfield. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Mount Pleasant, Michigan, USA. Date: 31 May, 2019.
Brianna says, “I just thought it was so pretty, and happy I was able to get a picture of its underside.”
Southern Pink-Striped Oakworm Moth (Anisota virginiensis pellucida)
Southern pink-striped oakworm, Anisota virginiensis pellucida, subfamily Ceratocampinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
□ This southern pink-striped oakworm has just emerged (or eclosed) from its pupa. To see what it will look like when its wings have fully expanded, see the photo at Bugguide.net here.
Photographed by: Otto Nitsch. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Georgia, USA. Date: 27 August, 2019.
Otto spotted it in his driveway.
Northern Pink-Striped Oakworm (Anisota virginiensis virginiensis)
Northern pink-striped oakworm, female, Anisota virginiensis virginiensis, subfamily Ceratocampinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
□ The wings of this northern pink-striped oakworm are just beginning to expand — she has just transformed from a pupa to an adult moth. The wide, light-purple border on each of the forewings identifies it as a female.
□ The pink-striped oakworm has three subspecies that occupy different geographic ranges: the northern pink-striped oakworm (Anisota virginiensis virginiensis); the southern pink-striped oakworm (Anisota virginiensis pellucida); and the Texas pink-striped oakworm (Anisota virginiensis discolor).
Photographed and identified to order by: Keith Rehbein. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: western Massachusetts, USA. Date: 6 June, 2020.
Orange-Tipped Oakworm Moth (Anisota senatoria)
Oakworm moth in the genus Anisota, possibly Anisota senatoria, subfamily Ceratocampinae, family Saturniidae (the giant silk moths).
□ In Ohio, where this photo was taken, three oakworm moth species can be found: the pink-striped oakworm (Anisota virginiensis), the orange-tipped oakworm (Anisota senatoria), and the spiny oakworm moth (Anisota stigma). One difference between them is the amount of black speckling on the wings with the pink-striped having the least and the spiny having the most. Our guess is that it is either the orange-tipped or spiny oakworm moth.
Photographed by: Heather Krise. Location: southeast Ohio, USA. Date: 11 July, 2020.
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Adelidae, the fairy longhorn moths

Yellow-Barred Longhorn moth (Nemophora degeerella)
Yellow-barred longhorn, Nemophora degeerella, subfamily Adelinae, family Adelidae.
□ A diurnal species, the yellow-barred longhorn has very long “horns,” which refer to the antennae. It also has a large yellowish or cream-colored bar across each wing. This individual has dark brown striping on its wings, but many specimens have blue-black markings instead.
Photographed by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Ivybridge, South Hams, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 1 August, 2018.
Green Longhorn moth (Adela reaumurella)
Green longhorn, female, Adela reaumurella, subfamily Adelinae, family Adelidae.
□ This green longhorn moth, just 1 cm (0.4 inches) long, has green-bronze forewings that look almost like shimmering silk. The hind wings (hidden in this photo) are glistening purple. The female, shown here, has long antennae, but not as long as the male’s antennae: His antennae are at least three times the length of his body.
Photographed and identified by: Vicki Cottrell. Location: Warrington, Cheshire, England, UK. Date: 29 April, 2020.
Vicki says, “It was on a Philadelphus plant!” Philadelphus plants are sometimes called mock orange, because its flowers look like those seen on an orange tree.
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Erebidae, the erebid moths

Jersey tiger moth
Jersey tiger moth, Euplagia quadripunctaria, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ The beautiful patterning of the jersey tiger moth’s forewings are only one feature 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!
Harnessed tiger moth, Apantesis phalerata
Harnessed tiger moth, Apantesis phalerata, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ This harnessed tiger moth is a member of the genus (Apantesis), which includes three other extremely similar-looking species: Carlotta’s tiger moth (A. carlotta), Nais tiger moth (A. nais) and banded tiger moth (A. vittata). For a good description of the slight differences between these four species, click here.
Photographed and identified by: Kyle A. Lengerich. Location: Greenwood, Indiana, USA. Date: 2018.
Harnessed tiger moth, Apantesis phalerata
Tiger moth in the genus Apantesis, quite possibly a harnessed tiger moth, Apantesis phalerata, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ The hind wings of the harnessed tiger moth are typically folded out of sight underneath the forewings (as is the case in this photo). The hind wings have yellow and pale pink hues with variable markings of black dots, triangles or borders. To see some of the variety in this species, click here.
Photographed and identified as a tiger moth by: Heather Krise. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org Location: southeast Ohio, USA. Date: 5 June, 2020.
Heather found it “sitting in tray of baby pepper plants.”
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Virgin Tiger Moth, Apantesis ornata
Virgin tiger moth, Apantesis virgo, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ A number of species of tiger moths look quite similar. The Virginia tiger moth is set apart by the combination of spotted hind wings, two black spots just behind the head (in front of the larger oblong black markings on the thorax) and criss-cross pattern on the forewings.
□ The hind wings are a big help with the identification, but these moths rarely display them for a photo (see the comment below).
Photographed and identified as a Tiger Moth by: Glen Walsworth. Identified to tentative species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Berwick Maine, USA. Date: 20 July, 2020.
Glen says, “This particular moth was dead, so I didn’t feel bad manipulating the wings. I found it while weeding the blackberries.” Glen also has milkweed, goldenrod, oxalis, clover (a Virgin Moth favorite) and other wildflowers in his yard, which is wonderful for bringing in insects, which attracted birds too. A great way to experience the wonders of nature!”
Virgin Tiger Moth, Apantesis ornata
Virgin tiger moth, Apantesis virgo, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ See the rescue story of this Virginia tiger moth below.
□ The hind wings are a big help with the identification, but these moths rarely display them for a photo (see the comment below).
Photographed and identified by: Maxine Quinton. Location: Nova Scotia, Canada. Date: 26 July, 2020.
Maxine says, “I found this moth this morning and thought it was dead. Prodding it slightly with a leaf didn’t produce any movement at first but then it twitched. It turns out it was caught in a bit of old spider’s web. I gently pulled it off with the leaf stem, blew on the moth, and it flew off.”
Tiger Moth, Apantesis ornata
Tiger moth in the genus Apantesis, quite possibly Apantesis ornata, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ This tiger moth (Apantesis ornata) has quite a bit of variability in its forewing pattern: some have thin stripes that break up the dark windowpane-like markings (as seen here), but others do not. The hind wings (hidden in this photo) vary too, from pale orange to deep orange or reddish-orange, and have black, often triangular-shaped markings. It is a species of western North America.
Photographed and identified as a Tiger Moth by: Judy C. Identified to tentative species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Princeton Place, Castro Valley Hills, California, USA. Date: April 2017.
Judy says, “This moth was sitting on the walkway outside a house where I was pet-sitting for a neighbor.” She adds, “I just LOVE this beautiful moth!”
Tiger Moth (Callimorpha principalis)
Tiger moth, Callimorpha principalis, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ This pretty tiger moth has greenish metallic forewings with white spots, and orange stripes on its thorax. Although not visible in this photo, it also has yellow to orange hind wings with black markings, and a red abdomen.
Photographed and identified to order by: Syed Gazanfar. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Srinigar, India. Date: 10 July, 2019.
Scarlet Tiger moth (Callimorpha dominula)
Scarlet tiger, mating pair, Callimorpha dominula, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ This pair of scarlet tigers has forewing spots in both a yellow-orange color and white, but many have only white spots. The hind wings are barely peeking out, but they are a brilliant red-orange with black blotching. The abdomen (not visible here) is also red-orange, but with a black stripe down the middle.
Photographed and identified by: Jean-Louis Metzger. Location: Headington, Oxford, UK. Date: 11 June, 2014.
Ranchman's Tiger Moth (Platyprepia virginalis)
Ranchman’s tiger moth, Platyprepia virginalis, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
Ranchman’s tiger moth has an orange head, and its forewings are covered with spots, some in a row at the edge. The center photo of the underside of the moth reveals the orange coloration of the abdomen and hind wings. The photographer found this beautiful moth in Polson Middle School garden.
Photographed by: Amy Williams. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Polson, Montana, USA. Date: 29 June, 2020.
Amy says, “There were two of them resting in a container that was sitting next to our garden shed this morning. Thanks for your awesome website! We love pulling it up when we have questions on insects we find.’ We at KnowYourInsects.org are so happy to hear that!
Fall Webworm Moth (Platyprepia virginalis)
Fall webworm moth, Hyphantria cunea, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ The fall webworm moth may be all white, as shown, or may have a few to many black spots. Their caterpillars make large nests of webbing in tree branches, and set out on the branches each day to eat leaves as they grow.
Photographed by: Marv Goldberg. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Tamarac, Florida, USA. Date: 17 July, 2020.
Striped tiger moth (Cyana peregrina)
Striped tiger moth, male, Cyana peregrina, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ A lovely moth, this striped tiger moth is festooned with red-brown stripes and black spots on the forewings. The male (shown in both photos here) and the female look almost identical, but the male has three black spots on each forewing, while the female has just one black spot on each forewing.
Photographed by: K J Westman. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Sri Lanka. Date: 26 December, 2018.
K J says finds this moth very beautiful and adds, “I hope you agree.’ KnowYourInsects.org says, “Most definitely!”
Painted tiger moth (Arachnis picta)
Painted tiger moth, Arachnis picta, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ If this painted tiger moth’s 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 (Arachnis picta)
Painted tiger moth, Arachnis picta, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ The painted tiger moth is quite a striking insect.
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!
Giant leopard moth (Hypercompe scribonia)
Giant leopard moth, adult emerging from pupa, Hypercompe scribonia, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ This photo captures an adult giant leopard moth just emerging from its cocoon, and also shows off its pretty abdomen, which is usually completely covered by the adult’s wings. As seen, the wings are decorated with a collection of black circles.
Photographed by: Molly Long. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: northwest Indiana, USA. Date: 14 June, 2018.
Molly says, “I’ve never seen anything like it. Found amongst cut down, rotted logs.’
Giant leopard moth (Hypercompe scribonia)
Giant leopard moth, Hypercompe scribonia, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ The wingspan of the giant leopard moth can be more than 3.5 inches (9 cm). A bit of its orange abdomen is showing in this photo, which was taken in Texas, the westernmost part of this moth’s range.
Photographed and identified by: Shane Searle. Location: San Juan, Texas, USA. Date: 30 March, 2020.
Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae)
Cinnabar moth, Tyria jacobaeae, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ The cinnabar moth has red (sometimes orangish) markings, including a border around about half of each forewing, two spots toward the outside edge of each forewing. Besides these markings, the wings are typically light- to dark-gray. This individual has especially light-colored wings.
Photographed and identified by: Jean-Louis Metzger. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Rectory Farm, Stanton St.-John, Oxfordshire, UK. Date: 14 June, 2019.
Scarlet-Bodied Wasp Moth, Cosmosoma myrodora
Scarlet-bodied wasp moth, Cosmosoma myrodora, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ The scarlet-bodied wasp moth has a brilliant red body highlighted with a blue metallic half-stripe and tip on the abdomen. The wings offer a nice contrast in black with clear patches.
Photographed by: Judy Herrington. Submitted by: Tom Herrington. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Ocean Springs, Mississippi, USA. Date: 21 September, 2019.
Tom submitted this photo that his wife took. Great teamwork!
Hübner's Wasp Moth (Amata huebneri)
Hübner’s wasp moth, Amata huebneri, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ Compare this Hübner’s wasp moth to the sandalwood defoliator (shown elsewhere on this page) — they are quite similar! A close look, however, reveals some differences in the patterning of the wings.
Photographed by: Alistair Sanders. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Thailand. Date: 11 July, 2018.
Alistair says, “Wow, it’s a moth? That’s amazing! My wife is a biology teacher and we’re out here in Thailand on our honeymoon, so we are enjoying looking at all the crazy little bugs and wildlife.”
Hübner's Wasp Moth (Amata huebneri)
Hübner’s wasp moth, Amata huebneri, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ Features of the Hübner’s wasp moth include white-tipped antennae, an orange-and-black-striped abdomen, and black wings with white markings, some of which are divided with a thin black line.
Photographed by: Wasana Niyomdecha. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Thailand. Date: 11 June, 2020.
Sandal defoliator (Amata passalis)
Mating pair of sandalwood defoliators, Amata passalis, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
Sandalwood defoliators are also sometimes called Indian Wasp Moths. They have beautiful white-spotted black wings and striped abdomens.
Photographed by: Ajay Antony. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: India. Date: 30 May 2017.
Sandal defoliator (Amata passalis)
Sandalwood defoliator, Amata passalis, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ 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 to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Shivamogga (Shimoga), Karnataka state, southwest India. Date: 7 March, 2018.
Wasp moth, Euchromia folletii
Wasp moth, Euchromia folletii, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ This colorful wasp moth is often mistaken for a wasp. This serves as a good defensive tactic to keep predators away, especially since this is a day-flying species of moth. It lives in several countries in Africa (where this one was photographed), and is also sometimes found on Madagascar and surrounding islands in the Indian Ocean.
Photographed by: Stacey Winters. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Ghana, West Africa. Date: August 2012.
Stacey says, “I thought it was some type of wasp... I’m excited to know more about it!”
Wasp moth, Horama pretus
Wasp moth, Horama pretus, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ This is called a wasp moth, because it is a moth has a body shape that looks like that of a wasp — long and thin wings and overall wasp color pattern. The wasp coloration is believed to help protect the moth from potential predators. See the Hübner’s wasp moth and polka-dot moth elsewhere on this page — both are also wasp mimics.
Photographed by: Carlo Castoro. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, USA. Date: 2013.
Handmaiden moth (Syntomoides imaon)
Handmaiden moth, Syntomoides imaon, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ The handmaiden moth has a bit of variety. Some, like this one, have two double windows in each forewing, plus another curved window in each forewing nearer the body. In addition, this moth has two yellow stripes on its abdomen, and another just behind its head.
Photographed by: Bhuvan Raj. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Bangalore, Karnatake, India. Date: 25 January, 2020.
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Virginian tiger moth
Virginian tiger moth, also known as a yellow woolly bear moth, Spilosoma virginica, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ The Virginian tiger moth has a white fuzzy thorax, and almost completely white wings — except for the single, very tiny black dot on each wing. The caterpillar, which is shown on the Caterpillars and Pupae page here, is called a Yellow Woolly Bear.
Photographed by: Marv Goldberg. Location: Florida, USA. Date: 25 June, 2019.
Marv says, “Kind of cute and fuzzy.”
Virginian tiger moth
Virginian tiger moth, also known as a yellow woolly bear moth, Spilosoma virginica, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ This photo of a Virginian tiger moth shows off the yellow on its upper legs and its black-striped “socks.”
Photographed and identified by: Kyle A. Lengerich. Location: Greenwood, Indiana, USA. Date: 2018.
Kyle says it “walked right into my finger from the leaf. I made sure to not disturb its wings.” KnowYourInsects.org says, “Smart, Kyle! Moth and butterfly wings are covered with very delicate scales.
Virginian tiger moth
Virginian tiger moth, also known as a yellow woolly bear moth, Spilosoma virginica, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ A distinguishing feature of the Virginian tiger moth is its abdomen, which has a row of black dots in the center and a line of yellow running down the sides.
Photographed by: Ruth Brown. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: northwestern Pennsylvania (just east of Erie), USA. Date: 16 July, 2017.
Yellow-Collared Scape Moth (Cisseps fulvicollis)
Yellow-collared scape moth, also known as Orange-Collared Scape Moth, Cisseps fulvicollis, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ The yellow-collared scape moth is also known as an Oorange-collared scape moth, and most of these moths — including the one in the photo — have orange collars. One way to distinguish is from the Virginia ctenucha (Ctenucha virginica), also seen on this page, is to look at the thorax: It is shimmery blue in Virginia ctenucha, and black in yellow-collared scape moth.
Photographed and identified by: Robert Carpenter. See Robert’s cool slow-motion nature video here. Location: Kerrville, Texas, USA. Date: 3 November, 2012.
Robert says, “This beautiful day-flying moth was feasting on Thoroughwort.”
Virginia Ctenucha (<i>Ctenucha virginica</i>)
Virginia ctenucha, Ctenucha virginica, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ The Virginia ctenucha 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 Virginia ctenucha 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.
Red-Shouldered Ctenucha (Ctenucha rubroscapus)
Red-shouldered ctenucha moth, Ctenucha rubroscapus, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ The red-shouldered ctenucha moth is well-named with bright red patches on either side of its thorax. Like the Virginia Ctenucha (pictured previously), it is active during the day.
Photographed by: Thomas Bolin. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Pacific County, Washington, USA. Date: September, 2018.
Thomas says he spotted “this colorful insect on the Washington coast near the ocean in the woods.”
Red-Shouldered Ctenucha (Ctenucha rubroscapus)
Red-shouldered ctenucha moth, Ctenucha rubroscapus, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ The red-shouldered ctenucha moth has red bars at the edge of the thorax (the “shoulders”), plus a red head, two black dots on a red thorax, and just a hint of white at the tips of the wings.
□ This moth is found along the coast of the western United States from central California up to southern Washington, but its distribution is spotty, so it is not often seen.
Photographed by: Shylla Weston. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Berrycreek, California, USA. Date: 14 June, 2020.
Clymene moth, Haploa clymene
Clymene moth, Haploa clymene, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ The bold black cross on the clymene moth makes this species easy to identify. Its hind wings, which are hidden in this photo, are typically yellow to orange in color, and each is often decorated with a black dot.
Photographed and identified by: Brian Lovins. Location: Falling Waters, West Virginia, USA. Date: 11 July, 2018.
Brian says he “thought was really cool-looking.” We agree!
Clymene moth (Haploa clymene)
Clymene moth, Haploa clymene, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ The clymene moth is found in the eastern half of the United States, and just across the border into southern Canada.
Photographed and identified by: Grant MacDonald. Location: Rochester, Michigan, USA. Date: 23 July, 2020.
Thin-banded lichen moth (Cisthene tenuifascia)
Thin-banded lichen moth, Cisthene tenuifascia, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ The thin-banded lichen moth has a cream colored band across each forewing, but only part of that band shows when its wings are closed (as in this photo). Its hind wings are pink with a thin brown edge, but they are also hidden in this photo. Whether the wings are open or closed, however, the round brown spot on its thorax is visible.
Photographed and identified as a moth by: Robert Carpenter. See Robert’s cool slow-motion nature video here. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Texas, USA. Date: unknown.
Common Footman (Eilema lurideola)
Common footman, Eilema lurideola, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ The common footman has a chic look with its gray wings — almost as if it has wrapped a silk robe around its body. Beneath those gray forewings are yellow hind wings, which can be seen when it takes flight.
□ An interesting footnote about the Footman: Its caterpillars eat lichen (a so-called composite organism because it consists of both fungi and an algae living together and benefiting one another; information about lichens here).
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: Ivybridge, South Hams, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 23 July, 2019.
Salt Marsh Moth (Estigmene acrea)
Salt marsh moth, female, Estigmene acrea, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ The salt marsh moth is pictured here with her pearly, round eggs. The female has white wings with a smattering of small black speckles. The male looks the same, but his hind wings are yellow rather than white. This species is a quick breeder: The female emerges from the pupa, mates the next night, and lays eggs the following night. In all, the adult female lives only four to five days.
Photographed by: Denise Rulason. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Frankenmuth, Michigan, USA. Date: 29 May, 2018.
Polka-dot moth (or oleander moth), Syntomeida epilais
Polka-dot moth, also known as oleander moth, Syntomeida epilais, subfamily Arctiinae, family Erebidae.
□ The polka-dot moth is sometimes called an oleander moth, because its caterpillars feed on oleander plants. It is often mistaken for a wasp because of its coloration and overall body shape, and also because it is active during the daytime (as are wasps), but the polka-dot moth is a harmless insect.
□ This moth has white polka dots on its wings and abdomen, plus a red tip on its abdomen, which is especially obvious in photo of the underside.
Photographed and identified by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Location: The Villages, Florida, USA. Date: 20 September, 2018.
Black Witch Moth (<i>Ascalapha odorata</i>)
Black witch, female, Ascalapha odorata, subfamily Erebinae, family Erebidae.
□ With a wingspan of up to 15 cm (nearly 6 inches), the black witch is huge. With the apostrophe-shaped spot in each forewing and the rounded “m” in the black-outlined oval at the tail edge of each hind wing, this moth is a real beauty. The female, as shown here, has a lacy white- or cream-colored line through both forewings and hindwings.
Photographed by: Denise Frank. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Belize. Date: 30 July, 2018.
Black Witch (<i>Ascalapha odorata</i>)
Black witch, male, Ascalapha odorata, subfamily Erebinae, family Erebidae.
□ The black witch is the subject of a lot of mythology. Depending on the country, a visit from this moth can cause a person to die, go bald, or come into money. Entomologist Mike Quinn compiled a list of some of the lore. The mythology may have something to do with its size — the photographer says this one had a wingspan of more than 5 inches (7.5 cm).
□ This male black witch lacks the white band seen on the female (shown in the previous photo).
Photographed and identified by: Tommy Vick. Nice job, Tommy! Location: Davis Mountains, Fort Davis, Texas, USA. Date: 15 July, 2020.
Tommy says, “Even though it was large, It was like chasing a shadow and kept disappearing. I finally spotted it after several tries and managed a few photos.”
White underwing moth (<i>Catocala relicta</i>)
White underwing moth, Catocala relicta, subfamily Erebinae, family Erebidae.
□ The hind wings of the white underwing moth are black with a white band, and its abdomen is banded in black and white. Both of those features are shown here. Photographed by: Sarah Faith. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Unknown. Date: 27 September, 2019.
Sarah says, “So pretty!”
White Underwing Moth (<i>Catocala relicta</i>)
White underwing moth, Catocala relicta, subfamily Erebinae, family Erebidae.
□ When only the forewings of the white underwing moth are showing, the black and white pattern — sometimes including some light-gray and cream colors — helps the moth blend into the white bark of birch and poplar trees. The margin of the forewings have a row of small black dots.
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Gaylord, Michigan, USA. Date: 13 September, 2013.
White Underwing Moth (<i>Catocala relicta</i>)
White underwing moth, Catocala relicta, subfamily Erebinae, family Erebidae.
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.”
Crimson Speckled Footman or Crimson Speckled Flunkey (Utetheisa pulchella)
Crimson speckled flunkey or crimson speckled footman, Utetheisa pulchella, subfamily Erebinae, family Erebidae.
□ The forewings of the crimson speckled flunkey are white and vivid red with black speckles, while the thorax is similar except with orange instead of red. The hind wings (not visible in these photographs) are white with a broad black border.
Photographed and identified by: Gavin Morag JohnHest. Location: Hoekwil, George, South Africa. Date: 1 April, 2020.
Gavin photographed this lovely moth in the garden.
Southern Tussock Moth or Yellow-Based Tussock Moth, (Dasychira spp.)
Tussock Moths in the genus Dasychira, subfamily Lymantriinae, family Erebidae.
□ This could be one of two tussock moths: either the yellow-based tussock moth (Dasychira basiflava) or the southern tussock moth (Dasychira meridionalis). The two species are very similar in appearance, and both have a lot of variation. The southern tussock moth is more of a southern species and is more common in Florida, where this photo was taken. The yellow-based tussock moth is more of a northern species, but it does appear in Florida sometimes.
Photographed by: Selcuk Mumcu. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Tampa, Florida, USA. Date: 17 June, 2018.
Selcuk says, “I found this little guy at my entrance door.”
Tussock Moth, (Euproctis or Arna spp.)
Tussock moth, male, in the genus Euproctis or Arna, subfamily Lymantriinae, family Erebidae.
□ Spectacular antennae on this male tussock moth! Males use the antennae to pick up the scent of females. A “tussock” is a tall tuft of grass — taller than the surrounding grass. Adult Tussock Moths typically have tufts of hair on their bodies that are taller than the surrounding hairs, and their caterpillars often have several tufts of hair on their bodies too.
Photographed and identified to genus by: Mahesh Wanule. Location: India. Date: 15 December, 2018. Mahesh says, “I am always surprised by the tiny features these small insects possess.”
Tussock Moths, mating pair, (Euproctis leithiana)
Tussock moths, mating pair, Euproctis leithiana, subfamily Lymantriinae, family Erebidae.
□ This is a mating pair of tussock moths, connected at the rear. As with many insects, the female is larger than the male.
Photographed by: Amitava Sil. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Kolkata, India. Date: 17 June, 2018.
Pale Tussock Moth, (Calliteara pudibunda)
Pale tussock moth, Calliteara pudibunda, subfamily Lymantriinae, family Erebidae.
□ The pale tussock moth may be lighter colored, as seen here, or may be more of a medium brownish-gray.
□ The caterpillar changes appearance as it grows. To see the range of colors and appearances of the caterpillars, click here (Wildlife Insight).
Photographed and identified as a tussock moth by: Carol Evans. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Lincolnshire, England, UK. Date: 17 June, 2018.
Carol says, “It had very fluffy legs and head, very beautiful.”
Dot Underwing Moth (Eudocima materna)
Dot underwing moth, Eudocima materna, subfamily Calpinae, family Erebidae.
□ The dot underwing moth has orange underwings (a peek of them can be seen in this photo) and each sports a black spot in the center. Other features include a large spine extending from each leg, and a scalloped edge on the back of each forewing.
Photographed by: K J Westman. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Nithulemada, Sri Lanka. Date: 7 November, 2018.
K J saw this moth on the kitchen window, and says, “It was extremely beautiful when it was flying, giving an orange impression. When I tried to get it flying, it just took off and escaped through the kotu midula (indoor courtyard).”
Erebid moth
Erebid moth, family Erebidae.
□ That is some great camouflage on this erebid moth! 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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Add your photo here!

Thyrididae, the window-winged moths
Choreutidae, the metalmark moths

Spotted Thyris Moth (Thyris maculata)
Spotted thyris moth, Thyris maculata, subfamily Thyridinae, family Thyrididae.
□ The spotted thyris moth is active during the daytime. It has two large, white spots on each of its hind wings (on display in this photo), and a smaller white spot on each forewing. At only about a half-inch long (1.2 cm), it is a tiny moth that often goes unrecognized.
Photographed and identified to family by: Victor Leverenz. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org Location: Dryden, Michigan, USA. Date: 4 July, 2019.
Victor says, “Saw some pictures online suggesting this might be in the Thyridid group.” KnowYourInsects.org says, “Great job on the ID, Victor!”
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Common Nettle-Tap(Nemophora degeerella)
Common nettle-tap, Anthophila fabriciana, subfamily Choreutinae, family Choreutidae.
□ The common nettle-tap moth occurs in Europe and Asia, and was recently (2013) reported in Canada. It is a small moth with a wingspan of 10–15 mm (about 0.4–0.6 inches). The fringed hind edge of its forewings typically have a very noticeable checkered pattern (shown here). Its name of Common Nettle-Tap comes from the caterpillar’s penchant for eating the leaves of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica).
Photographed by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Ivybridge, South Hams, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 3 June, 2018.
KnowYourInsects.org says, “Thanks to Bryan for sending in this photo, which represents the first member we have posted from this family!”

Noctuidae, the owlet moths

Angle Shades Moth (Phlogophora meticulosa)
Angle shades moth, Phlogophora meticulosa, subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae.
□ This angle shades moth has such an interesting little tuft of hairs just behind the head (photo at right), not to mention the patterned brown triangles on the forewings. The photographer calls that little tuft a “quiff.”.
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 sutumn leaves.”
Wedgling moth (Galgula partita)
Wedgling Moth, Galgula partita, subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae.
□ This is the light-tan version of the wedgling moth (darker version in the preceding photos). The photo at right is the front view 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 images here and 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.
Wedgling moths range in color from light tan to deep brown (see the much lighter-colored version below). In this dark one, the most noticeable feature is the small white spot where the wings meet. See the photographer’s comment below.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org! See Thomas’ full-size images here, here and here. Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 17 September, 2020.
Thomas saw this moth (about 13 mm long) while doing some yard work. He says, “The first two were taken with a flash and a 105 mm micro lens while it was flitting around furiously in my bug box. Was the only way I could get it with the wings open. The last one is a close up with a 200 mm micro lens in ambient light.”
Noctuid moth
Noctuid moth, possibly Lacinipolia patali (no common name), subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae.
□ This light-brown noctuid moth has little in the way of distinguishing marks, which makes definitive identification quite difficult.
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.
□ Moth specialist Dave Wikle says that this small ranunculus moth 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.
□ This side view 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 images here and here. Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 11 August, 2017.
Glassy Cutworm Moth (Apamea devastator)
Glassy cutworm moth, Apamea devastator, subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae.
□ The “cutworm” part of the glassy cutworm moth refers to the caterpillar of this moth, which chews through corn and wheat, along with various other grasses. Members of the similar-looking Hadeninae subfamily have hairs on the eyes, but the closeup (top) shows no hairs, according to moth expert Dave Wikle.
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: 27 May, 2017.
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Large Yellow Underwing, Noctua pronuba
Yellow underwing in the genus Noctua, subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae (the noctuid moths).
□ This appears to be a large yellow underwing, Noctua pronuba, due to the light colored eyespot in front of a darker, irregularly shaped spot on each forewing. This species is very common in Europe, and made its way to North America in 1979. It has since spread throughout much of the United States and Canada.
Photographed and identified to genus by: Jean-Louis Metzger. Location: Headington, Oxford, UK. Date: 11 September, 2016.
Large Yellow Underwing Moth (Noctua pronuba)
Large yellow underwing, Noctua pronuba, subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae.
□ Take a close look at this large yellow underwing to 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.
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.
Noctua pronuba
Large yellow underwing, Noctua pronuba, subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae.
□ These photos show the side (lateral) and top (dorsal) views of this large yellow underwing. 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.
Lesser Wainscot Moth (Mythimna oxygala)
Lesser wainscot moth, Mythimna oxygala, subfamily Noctuinae, family Noctuidae (the noctuid moths).
□ The narrow streaking and the few, scattered and small dark dots on the wings — along with the very hairy thorax — help to identify the lesser wainscot moth.
Photographed and identified by: Joyce Kay. Location: Castlegar, British Columbia, Canada. Date: 28 August, 2019.
Add your photo here! 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 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.
Tobacco Budworm Moth (Chloridea virescens)
Tobacco budworm moth, Chloridea virescens, subfamily Heliothinae, family Noctuidae.
□ As its name suggests, the tobacco budworm moth is a pest on tobacco plants, but it will also eat all kinds of other agricultural and other plants, including clover and cotton; soybeans, tomatoes, peas and a variety of other vegetables, and garden plants, such as geraniums, birds of paradise, petunias, and marigolds.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size photos here, here and here. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: City of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 12 May, 2018.
Primrose Moth (Schinia florida)
Primrose moth, Schinia florida, subfamily Heliothinae, family Noctuidae.
□ The primrose moth is very similar in appearance to the Rosy Maple Moth (Dryocampa rubicunda), but the two are in different families (Noctuidae and Saturniidae, respectively). To tell one from the other, look at the forewings: The Rosy Maple Moth has a broad yellow band in the middle of each wing, while Primrose Moth has a band of yellow on the edge of each pink forewing.
Photographed by: Denise Rulason. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Mayville, Michigan, USA. Date: 2018.
Beautiful Wood-Nymph (Eudryas grata)
Beautiful wood-nymph, Eudryas grata, subfamily Agaristinae, family Noctuidae.
□ This is a typical resting pose for the beautiful wood-nymph: front legs outstretched, and wings pulled in. A very similar species is the pearly wood-nymph (Eudryas unio), but the margin between the dark and white area on each forewing is wavy rather than smooth as it is in the beautiful wood-nymph. See the photo of the pearly wood-nymph on this page.
Photographed and identified by: James Pronk. Location: Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Date: 21 July, 2019.
James says, “I’ve never seen anything like that before, and I live in an old house with all kinds of insects.”
Pearly Wood-Nymph (Eudryas unio)
Pearly wood-nymph, Eudryas unio, subfamily Agaristinae, family Noctuidae.
□ The pearly wood-nymph is lovely with its shimmering white forewings; wide, brown, scalloped border; and red highlights. Its hind wings and abdomen, which are only visible when its forewings are spread, are butter-yellow. Its range extends from southern Ontario and Quebec in Canada, through the eastern half of the United States, and down to the Gulf Coast.
Photographed and identified to order by: Rory Murdock. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Barrhaven, Ontario Canadaa. Date: 24 June, 2020.
Rory says, “It was really cool.”
African cotton leafworm moth (Spodoptera littoralis)
African cotton leafworm moth, Spodoptera littoralis, subfamily Hadeninae, family Noctuidae.
□ The African cotton leafworm moth, is also sometimes called the Egyptian Cottonworm Moth or Mediterranean Brocade. Caterpillars of this species eat cotton and a wide variety of crop plants, including cabbage, spinach and lettuce, cauliflower, carrots, figs, a variety of fruits and grains, tea plants, and many others.
Photographed by: Maria Francis. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Thala vadi in Erode District, Southern State of India. Date: 18 March, 2019.
Silver Y Moth (Autographa gamma)
Silver Y moth, Autographa gamma, subfamily Plusiinae, family Noctuidae.
□ The common name of the silver Y moth 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.”
Looper Moth (Plusiinae)
Looper moth in the subfamily Plusiinae, family Noctuidae.
□ This looper moth has flamboyant tufts of fur on its head, and another little sweep of hair extending up from its nose. The photographer estimated its size as about 4 cm (1.6 inches) long.
Photographed by: K J Westman. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Sir Lanka. Date: 26 December, 2018.
K J says, “ I cannot identify the moth since all moths depicted on the internet have their wings spread. When I tried to get a better angle, it was disturbed and took off.” KnowYourInsects.org says, “Insects do not always pose well -- hah!”
Bilobed Looper (Megalographa biloba)
Bilobed looper, Megalographa biloba, subfamily Plusiinae, family Noctuidae.
□ The bilobed looper is shades of tan, brown and reddish-brown, has a noticeable silver B-shaped marking in the middle of each forewing, and also sports a tuft of hair on its thorax. It lives year-round in warm climates, but will migrate into cooler areas in the summer. Note: It was formerly placed in the genus Autographa.
Photographed and identified as a moth by: Thomas Langhans. See Thomas’ full-size image here. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 23 May, 2020.
Thomas was watering a Magenta Rock Rose (Cistus x pulverulentus 'Sunset') when this moth made its appearance. He says, “Some bug is always showing up.” KnowYourInsects.org says, “Beautiful flowers and beautiful insects — a great combination!”
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White-Dotted Groundling (Condica videns)
White-dotted groundling, Condica videns, subfamily Condicinae, family Noctuidae.
□ The white-dotted groundling is mostly dark brown, but with a small white dot on each forewing. A close look also reveals a row of even tinier white dots along the wing margin.
Photographed and identified as a moth by: Robert Carpenter. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Robert’s cool slow-motion nature video here. Location: Texas, USA. Date: 1 December, 2019.
Add your photo here! Castor Semilooper (Achaea janata)
Castor semilooper, mating pair, Achaea janata, subfamily Catocalinae, family Noctuidae.
□ The castor semilooper is a major pest of castor bean and croton plants. The white band in each hind wing and the double brown bands on each forewing help distinguish this moth. Note: This moth is sometimes listed as being part of the family Erebidae.
Photographed and identified to order by: Shefali Chaudhari. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Flori. farm, NAU, Navsari, Gujarat. Date: 22 December, 2018.
Passenger Moth (Dysgonia spp.)
Passenger moth, in the genus Dysgonia, subfamily Catocalinae, family Erebidae.
□ Several species of passenger moths in this genus look almost identical. Note: Some classifications list this moth in the genus Bastilla instead of Dysgonia.
Photographed and identified to order by: Syed Gazanfar. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Srinigar, India. Date: 10 July, 2019.

Lasiocampidae, the tent caterpillars, lappet moths, eggars, and snout moths

Tolype laricis
Larch tolype moth, Tolype laricis, subfamily Macromphaliinae, family Lasiocampidae.
□ The larch tolype moth is typically found in boggy areas where tamarack trees (also called larch trees) and other conifers grow.
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Alberta, south of L’Anse, Michigan, USA. Date: 8 August, 2016.
Brown lapped moth (Gastropacha pardale)
Lasiocampid moth in the genus Gastropacha, quite possibly a brown lappet moth, Gastropacha pardale, subfamily Gastropachinae, family Lasiocampidae.
□ The brown lappet moth is the spitting image of a dried brown leaf. The full effect of the leaf mimicry is best viewed from the side (this photo is a top view).
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.
□ Female 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.
Lappet Moth, family Lasiocampidae
□ These photos show two views (and different lighting) of the same lappet moth.
Lappet moth, family Lasiocampidae.
Photographed by: Syed Gazanfar. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Kashmir, India. Date: 8 April, 2019.
Syed says, “I have taken this pic with great difficulty as it had perched itself on the ceiling of the room.”

Batrachedridae, the batrachedrid moths

BatrachedraMoth_Thomas
Batrachedrid moth, likely in the genus Batrachedra, subfamily Batrachedrinae, family Batrachedridae.
□ When at rest, as shown in this batrachedrid moth, 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 genus Pyrausta has more than 300 species of crambid moths, which is a very high number for a single genus.
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 color of this species varies considerably from pale brown to medium reddish brown (as seen here) to a deep pink/purple color. 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.
□ This volupial pyrausta moth is a vivid reddish-purple color that really shows off the white lines and spot on each forewing.
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See Thomas’ full-size images here and here.
Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 20 September, 2019.
Volupial pyrausta moth (<i>Pyrausta volupialis</i>)
Volupial pyrausta moth, Pyrausta volupialis, subfamily Pyraustinae, family Crambidae.
□ Despite the pale color of this volupial pyrausta moth, each forewing still shows the characteristic swooped white line, the zig-zag white line, and the white spot between the two lines.
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.
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Southern Purple Mint Moth (Pyrausta laticlavia)
Southern purple mint moth, Pyrausta laticlavia, subfamily Pyraustinae, family Crambidae.
□ This southern purple mint moth is pretty in its purplish-pink and yellow color. Some individuals in this species have more of a purplish-pink color and others are more brown. Its caterpillars eat rosemary, and possibly also a variety of mint plants.
Photographed and identified as a moth by: April Mills. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: La Mesa, California. Date: 25 June, 2018.
April found this beauty in her backyard. She says, “We do have an abundance of rosemary growing in our garden also. This is the first time I have seen a Southern Purple Mint Moth. I recall there was a chrysalis attached to base of our table, and this is the exact place I saw the moth for the photo.”
Grass moth (Parotis marginata)
Grass moth, Parotis marginata, subfamily Pyraustinae, family Crambidae.
□ This grass moth is vivid green. A close look will reveal the antennae, which are also a vivid green, are swept back over the wings.
□ The caterpillars of this moth can cause considerable damage to the seedlings of tropical tree known as a blackboard tree (Alstonia scholaris). Photographed by: Shreeya Panda. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org.
Location: North Odisha University, Ladies Hostel Campus, Mayurbhanj (District), Odisha, India. Date: 23 July, 2019.
Two-Spotted Herpetogramma, Herpetogramma bipunctalis
Two-spotted herpetogramma, Herpetogramma bipunctalis, subfamily Spilomelinae, family Crambidae.
□ The two-spotted herpetogramma has two dark spots on each forewing, and two tiny dark spots on its abdomen. Thin, dark squiggled lines also embellish the wings. The dark stripe at the leading edge of each forewing is noticeable in this photo, but not all individuals exhibit this feature clearly.
□ Individuals may be mostly white, yellowish (like this one), tan, or even rather brown.
Photographed and identified as a moth by: Robert Carpenter. See Robert’s slow-motion nature video here. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Texas, USA. Date: 16 July, 2014.
Zigzag Herpetogramma or Feather Moth, Herpetogramma thestealis
Zigzag herpetogramma, also known as Feather Moth, Herpetogramma thestealis, subfamily Spilomelinae, family Crambidae.
□ The attractive zigzag herpetogramma has an elongated white band in each wing, ad the stripe is divided by two small and black transverse bands. it also has a dark wing border.
Photographed and identified by: Kyle A. Lengerich. Location: Greenwood, Indiana, USA. Date: 2018.
Orange Spotted Flower Moth or Red-Waisted Florella Moth, Syngamia florella
Orange-spotted flower moth, also known as red-waisted florella moth, Syngamia florella, subfamily Spilomelinae, family Crambidae.
□ The orange-spotted flower moth is a tiny moth (see the photographer’s comments below). A daytime flier, it has a distinctive stripe down the center of the thorax, spots on its wings, and a lovely soft-orange abdomen.
Photographed and identified as moth by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org.
Location: The Villages, Florida, USA. Date: 12 August, 2017.
Sheldon says, “This subject is tiny, tiny, really tiny. For size comparison, look at your little fingernail. I am amazed at the colors and details.”
Box Tree Moth, Cydalima perspectalis
Box tree moth, Cydalima perspectalis, subfamily Spilomelinae, family Crambidae.
□ The box tree moth has a small comma-shaped marking interrupting the wide brown border on each forewing. It is native to eastern Asia, reaching from Japan to India, but is now a pest in much of Europe. In 2008, it was first recorded in England, where this photo was taken. More information about this species is available by clicking here.
Photographed by: Ryan Gray. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: London, England, UK. Date: 21 August, 2018.
Gracile Palpita Moth, Palpita gracialis
Gracile palpita moth, Palpita gracialis, subfamily Spilomelinae, family Crambidae.
□ The gracile palpita moth has pearly white wings with a brown border on the leading edge of the forewings. Another feature of this moth is the set of four squares on the abdomen, although in some individuals, the rear pair may be quite faint.
Photographed and identified as a moth by: Robert E. Carpenter. See Robert’s cool slow-motion nature video here. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Texas, USA. Date: 16 July, 2014.
Four-spotted Palpita Moth, Palpita quadristigmalis
Four-spotted palpita moth, also known as a Mother of Pearl moth, Palpita quadristigmalis, subfamily Spilomelinae, family Crambidae.
□ The four-spotted palpita moth’s alternate name of Mother of Pearl moth is perfect for this lovely moth. Note the small black spots on its wings.
Photographed and identified by: Robert E. Carpenter. See Robert’s cool slow-motion nature video here. Location: Kerrville, Texas, USA. Date: 9 July, 2016.
Robert says, “Attracted to UV light at midnight” near Camp Meeting Creek.
Eggplant Leafroller, aka Nightshade Leaf Tier (Lineodes integra)
Eggplant leafroller, also known as a nightshade leaf tier, Lineodes integra, subfamily Spilomelinae, family Crambidae.
□ This is a typical pose for the eggplant leafroller, also known as a nightshade leaf tier.
Photographed by: Jenelllea Martin. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Overland Park, Kansas, USA. Date: 2 September, 2019.
Eggplant Leafroller, aka Nightshade Leaf Tier (Lineodes integra)
Eggplant leafroller, also known as a nightshade leaf tier, Lineodes integra, subfamily Spilomelinae, family Crambidae.
□ The caterpillar of the eggplant leafroller spins silk, which it uses it to roll leaves into tube shapes. It favors leaves in the nightshade family (Solanaceae), including eggplant. The tube provides a safe spot for the caterpillar to grow.
Photographed and identified as a moth by: Robert Carpenter. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Robert’s cool slow-motion nature video here. Location: Texas, USA. Date: 16 July, 2014.
Grass Moth (Scoparia pyralella)
Grass moth, tentatively identified as Scoparia pyralella, subfamily Scopariinae, family Crambidae.
□ The grass moth and other moths in this genus can be very difficult to distinguish from one another, and often require inspection with a microscope.
Photographed and identified by: Jean-Louis Metzger. Location: Headington, Oxford, England, UK. Date: 12 March, 2020.
Dusky Pearl (<i>Udea prunalis</i>)
Dusky pearl, Udea prunalis, subfamily Pyraustinae, family Crambidae.
□ The dusky pearl looks similar to a related species known by the scientific name of Udea fulvalis, but the Dusky Pearl has a more faded appearance than Udea fulvalis.
Photographed and identified to family by: Jean-Louis Metzger. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Oxford, England, UK. Date: 24 July, 2019.
False Celery Leaftier, Udea profundalis
False celery leaftier, Udea profundalis, subfamily Pyraustinae, family Crambidae.
□ The false celery leaftier gets its name from the habit of its caterpillar, which is a leaftier: It ties leaves into tubes using the silk it makes.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Thomas’ full-size images here and here.
Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 11 October, 2018.
False Celery Leaftier, Udea profundalis
False celery leaftier, Udea profundalis, subfamily Pyraustinae, family Crambidae.
□ The false celery leaftier looks quite similar to another related species called the celery leaftier (Udea rubigalis), but the False Celery Leaftier is a bit larger. In addition, the False Celery Leaftier is mainly found in the western United States, while the Celery Leaftier is found in the eastern U.S.
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See Thomas’ full-size images here and here.
Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 13 November, 2018.
False Celery Leaftier, Udea profundalis
False celery leaftier, Udea profundalis, subfamily Pyraustinae, family Crambidae.
□ This close-up of a false celery leaftier gives a good view of the snout feature of this family.
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See Thomas’ full-size image here.
Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 17 March, 2020.
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Pyralidae, the pyralid moths

Bee moth, Aphomia sociella
Bee moth, Aphomia sociella, subfamily Galleriinae, family Pyralidae.
□ Olive-colored eyes and wing patches highlight this pretty little bee moth. It is called a Bee Moth not because it has any resemblance to a bee, but instead because the females often lay their eggs in bee’s nests. According to Bugguide.net, Bee Moths were likely introduced to the United States from their native Europe when Bee Moth eggs were unknowingly transported in European bee hives.
Photographed and identified by: Jean-Louis Metzger. Nice job of identification, Jean-Louis! Location: Oxford, England, UK. Date: 6 May, 2019.
Jean-Louis says, “Three pictures of a moth found in my hallway this morning. It stayed put while I attempted to take as many good pictures as possible (distance head to tip of the wings ~15 mm; width of the folded wings ~ 8 mm).” For American readers, 15 mm is about 0.6 inches, and 8 mm is about 0.3 inches.
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Sphingidae, the hawk moths

Slender Clearwing Moth (<i>Hemaris gracilis</i>)
Slender clearwing moth, Hemaris gracilis, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae.
□ The slender clearwing moth has a deep red to purple streak on the side of its head, sweeping from the front of the head through the eye and down (as seen here).
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!”
Hummingbird Moth
Hummingbird clearwing moth, Hemaris thysbe, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae. One way to distinguish the hummingbird clearwing moth from others in this genus is to look at the legs. This species has yellow or light-colored legs, compared to the dark legs of others.
Photographed and identified to genus by: Sheldon L. Boyd. Location: The Villages, Florida, USA. Date: 31 August, 2018.
Hummingbird Moth
Clearwing moth in the genus Hemaris, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae.
□ One way to tell clearwing moths apart is to look at the wings — that is, if you can see them in this always moving moth! To see the difference, click here (North American Moth Photographers Group).
Photographed and identified by: Maryle Barbé. Location: Along the Bear River in Petoskey, Michigan, USA. Date: 2013.
Add your photo here! White-lined Sphinx (Hyles lineata)
White-lined sphinx, Hyles lineata, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae.
□ These images of a white-lined sphinx, sometimes called a white-lined hummingbird sphinx, are screen grabs from a video as this moth hovers and zips its way around this flower. The pink of the moth’s hind wings is clearly visible, as is the white and brown striping on the head, thorax and forewings.
Photographed by: Lisa Hetchler. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: southeastern Michigan, USA. Date: 6 August, 2019.
Lisa says this was a “morning visitor.”
White-lined Sphinx (Hyles lineata)
White-lined sphinx, Hyles lineata, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae.
□ In this photo of a a white-lined sphinx, just a bit of the hindwings’ pink can be seen peeking out. The white striping pattern on the forewings and thorax give this moth a groomed appearance.
Photographed and identified by: Brett Ortler. Location: Minnesota, USA. Date: 1 September, 2019.
Brett has also submitted his photo to inaturalist.org ☺.
Spurge Hawk Moth (Hyles euphorbiae)
Spurge hawk moth, also known as leafy spurge hawk moth, Hyles euphorbiae, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae.
□ This spurge hawk moth is constantly on the move as it flits through these fuchsia and white sweet William flowers (Dianthus barbatus). The white outline on this moth’s head and thorax, dark and light bars on the side of its abdomen, and pink wash on the hind wings, however, were enough to identify it. To see the beautiful caterpillar, click here.
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Gaylord, Michigan, USA. Date: 9 July, 2019.
Leslie says, “It was constantly beating its wings — flying and hovering — for the entire 10 minutes I watched it. And yes, there are some invasive leafy spurge plants (Euphorbia esula) nearby.”
Hummingbird Hawk-Moth (Macroglossum stellatarum)
Hummingbird hawk-moth, Macroglossum stellatarum, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae.
□ The hummingbird hawk-moth has bright orange underwings, something that the photographer noticed while this moth was in rapidly beating its wings in flight. When the moth settled down enough for this photo, however, its hind wings were tucked away out of sight under the forewings.
Photographed and identified by: Bryan Wenham-Baker. Location: Near Ivybridge, South Hams, South Devon, England, UK. Date: 25 June, 2020.
Bryan says, “ Although this hummingbird hawk-moth is not a rarity by any means, this is a first for me, so I was pleased to capture this shot.”
Elephant Hawk Moth (Deilephila elpenor)
Elephant hawk moth, Deilephila elpenor, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae.
□ The elephant hawk-moth is a olive with rich and often quite brilliant pink highlights. This moth is often found in areas with rosebay willowherb (Chamaenerion angustifolium) growing (rosebay willowherb is called fireweed in the U.S. and Canada).
Photographed by: Sharon Todd. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Glasgow, Scotland. Date: 25 June, 2019.
Gardenia Bee Hawk (Cephonodes kingii)
Gardenia bee hawk, Cephonodes kingii, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae.
□ Both the adult and caterpillar of the gardenia bee hawk are often seen on gardenia flowers (although they will visit other flowers too). The “bee” part of the name comes from the striped pattern and fat hairy body that is somewhat reminiscent of a bee. For more information about this interesting and usually rather rare moth, click here.
Photographed and identified by: Edwina Byrne. Location: Hazelglen Farm, Watson’s Creek, New South Wales, Australia. Date: 26 February, 2020.
Edwina found this one on a Buddlia (butterfly bush). She says, “It appeared to be a pollinator after nectar and was about 40mm in length and quite loud, louder than a bee with antennae that looked butterfly like.”
Coffee Bean Hawk Moth (Cephonodes hylas)
Coffee bean hawk moth, also known as a pellucid hawk moth, coffee clearwing, and Oriental bee hawk moth, Cephonodes hylas, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae.
□ The coffee bean hawk moth is a large moth with a wingspan of up to 7.5 cm (3 inches). It is quite active early in the morning and late in the day.
□ Moths and butterflies are covered with scales, but in moths, the scales are modified to look rather like fur. In this individual, some of the scales have worn off. This is quite common as moths age.
Photographed by: Nancy Kumar. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Bangalore, India. Date: 17 July, 2020.
Coffee Bee Hawkmoth, Pellucid Hawk Moth, Oriental Bee Hawk Moth, or Coffee Clearwing (Hyles euphorbiae)
Coffee bee hawk moth, also known as pellucid hawk moth, coffee clearwing and Oriental bee hawk moth, Cephanodes hylas, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae.
□ One of the coffee bee hawk moth’s favorite flowers is rhino-coffee (known as wildekornoelie in South Africa where this photo was taken), but it will also sip nectar from many other plants, including wild pomegranate (wildegranaat).
Photographed by: Noelien Du Plooy. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: West Rand, South Africa. Date: 9 February, 2020.
Typhon Sphinx Moth (Eumorpha typhon)
Typhon sphinx noth, Eumorpha typhon, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae.
□ The typhon sphinx moth barely reaches north into the United States — it is mainly a moth of Mexico and Central America. Its hind wings (not visible in this photo) have a striking raspberry-colored swath.
□ The caterpillar of this species is quite colorful, and glows under the light of a ultraviolet flashlight. See the caterpillar (and more information on this interesting species) here.
Photographed and identified as a moth by: Briana Burke. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Payson, Arizona, USA. Date: 1 December, 2019.
Briana says that it “flew out from some shrubs when I was watering.” KnowYourInsects.org says, “Lucky day watering!”
Pandorus Sphinx Moth (Eumorpha pandorus)
Pandorus sphinx moth, Eumorpha pandorus, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae.
□ The pandorus sphinx moth, lovely in shades of olive and rose, is often seen flying at dusk. One of the adult’s favored foods is the nectar of petunias.
Photographed by: Jean Zott. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Detroit, Michigan, USA. Date: 23 July, 2015.
Jean says, “Pretty cool camouflage moth!”
Pandorus Sphinx Moth (Eumorpha pandorus)
Pandorus sphinx moth, Eumorpha pandorus, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae.
□ The rather geometric pattern of dark triangles on the thorax helps to set apart this pandorus sphinx moth.
Photographed and identified to family by: Cat Hershberger. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Wadsworth, Ohio, USA. Date: 29 June, 2020.
Banded Sphinx Moth (Eumorpha fasciatus)
Banded sphinx moth, Eumorpha fasciatus, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae.
□ This banded sphinx moth and vine sphinx moth (Eumorpha vitis). both have a broad, ivory-colored, Y-shaped stripe on each forewing; three, thinner, ivory-colored slash marks that rip through the Y; and a broad, light-colored stripe running down the middle of the abdomen. The banded sphinx, however, has a wide tan-colored border at the leading edge of each forewing (as seen above), but the vine sphinx does not.
Photographed by: Dianne Maire. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Geismar, Louisiana, USA. Date: 22 July, 2019.
Dianne says, “I caught this moth in my house trying to save it from my dogs. It’s beautiful! I’ve never seen one like this.” KnowYourInsects.org says, “Nice save, Dianne!”
Banded Sphinx Moth (Eumorpha fasciatus)
Banded sphinx moth, Eumorpha fasciatus, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae.
□This photo shows the pink color of the hind wings in this banded sphinx moth. Gorgeous!
Photographed by: Gary Watling. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Homosassa, Florida, USA. Date: 24 November, 2017.
Gary says, “This beauty landed on my porch railing.”
Fig Sphinx (<i>Pachylia ficus</i>)
Fig sphinx, Pachylia ficus, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae.
□ The forewing of the fig sphinx is mainly beige with a distinctive whitish marking at the tip, as well as a single white dot at the base. The forewings of some individuals may have more blotching of slightly darker beige, or even a few thin zigzagging black lines. The hind wings (hidden in this photo) typically have two wide black bands.
Photographed by: LeAnn Dahl. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: New Smyrna Beach, Florida, USA. Date: 9 May, 2020.
LeAnn says, “Beautiful!”
Rustic Sphinx Moth (Manduca rustica)
Rustic sphinx moth, Manduca rustica, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae.
□ The rustic sphinx moth has an intricate zig-zag design on its wings. A close look also reveals a couple of orange spots on its abdomen — it actually has three orange spots on each side of its abdomen (the others are hidden beneath the wings in this photo). And it is a big moth (see the photographer’s comment below).
Photographed by: Larry Wollam. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Tucson, Arizona, USA. Date: 14 November, 2018.
Larry says, “Approximately 2-1/2 inches (about 7 cm) long. Good camouflage, looks sort of like a peppered moth.”
Tersa Sphinx Moth (Xylophanes tersa)
Tersa sphinx moth, Xylophanes tersa, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae.
□ The tersa sphinx moth is an elegant-looking moth in shades of dark and pale brown with a very sleek profile, including abdomen that narrows to a point. To see the quite lovely hind wings (tucked away beneath the forewings in this photo), click here.
Photographed by: Marv Goldberg. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: near Tamarac, Florida, USA. Date: 31 October, 2018.
Marv says, “This large insect was on a wall near where I live.... The length of the body, nose to tail, was about 3 inches.”
Tersa Sphinx Moth (Xylophanes tersa)
Tersa sphinx moth, Xylophanes tersa, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae.
□ This tersa sphinx moth was photographed in the northern Michigan, but it has historically been more of a southern species. With the unstable climate of current times, many insects are expanding into new territory.
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Gaylord, Michigan, USA. Date: 19 July, 2019.
Leslie says, “I was at the tire shop following a sidewall flat when I spotted this beauty on the side of the building. It made the bill a little easier to bear.”
Mournful sphinx (Enyo lugubris)
Mournful sphinx, Enyo lugubris, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae.
□ With the spread tail, this mournful sphinx has an elaborate silhouette. Other features of this muted beauty are a single line across the middle of the body and wings, the pair of small dark eyespots in about the center of each forewing, and the row of paired, chocolate-colored spots running down the abdomen.
Photographed and identified by: Robert Carpenter. See Robert’s cool slow-motion nature video here. Location: Kerrville, Texas, USA. Date: 16 July, 2011.
Abbott's sphinx (Sphecodina abbottii)
Abbott’s sphinx, Sphecodina abbottii, subfamily Macroglossinae, family Sphingidae.
Abbott’s sphinx looks as if it is wearing a black belt and a white scabbard on either side. When they begin to become active late in the afternoon, they are often mistaken for bumble bees not only because of their furry bodies, but also because they buzz when they fly.
Photographed and identified by: Brett Ortler. Location: Minnesota, USA. Date: 19 May, 2020.
Brett has also submitted his photo to inaturalist.org ☺.
Nessus Sphinx (Amphion floridensis)
Nessus sphinx, Amphion floridensis, subfamily Smerinthinae, family Sphingidae.
□ The nessus sphinx has a striped abdomen that looks like a short-fat cigar, tapering toward the rear and ending with a spray of hairs.
□ This species is sometimes erroneously listed as Amphion nessus.
Photographed and identified by: Brett Ortler. Location: Minnesota, USA. Date: 28 June, 2020.
Brett has also submitted his photo to inaturalist.org ☺.
Streaked sphinx (Protambulyx strigilis)
Streaked sphinx, Protambulyx strigilis, subfamily Smerinthinae, family Sphingidae.
□ The streaked sphinx is a large moth. Even with the wings folded, as seen here, the photographer estimated it was at least 3 inches wide. The dark bands at the outside of the thorax, and set of three dark slash marks along the leading edge of each forewing help to identify this beauty.
Photographed by: Marv Goldberg. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Tamarac, Florida, USA. Date: 11 September, 2020.
Marv spotted a gecko checking out this large moth. Marv opines that the gecko had one of two things on its mind: “If I could eat that, I’d be set for the next month” or “I better run, I remember what Mothra did to Tokyo.” The gecko was gone in the time it took Marv to grab his camera.
Twin-Spotted Sphinx Moth (Smerinthus jamaicensis)
Twin-spotted sphinx, Smerinthus jamaicensis, subfamily Smerinthinae, family Sphingidae.
□ The twin-spotted sphinx gets its name from the eyespots on its hind wings (hidden from view in this photo). Each eyespot, which is pale blue, often has a black bar running through it and dividing it into two or “twin spots”.
Photographed by: Jake Yonkers. Submitted by: Lisa Hetchler. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Marne, Michigan, USA. Date: 12 June, 2020.
One-eyed Sphinx Moth (Smerinthus cerisyi)
One-eyed sphinx, Smerinthus cerisyi, subfamily Smerinthinae, family Sphingidae.
□ The one-eyed sphinx gets its name from the large eyespot on each of its hind wings, as seen here. Some individuals are mostly black and gray (like this one), but some others are quite brown and gray in color.
Photographed and identified by: Brett Ortler. Location: Cass County, Minnesota, USA. Date: 21 June, 2020.
Brett has also submitted his photo to inaturalist.org ☺.
Big Poplar Sphinx Moth (Pachysphinx occidentalis)
Big poplar sphinx moth, Pachysphinx occidentalis, subfamily Smerinthinae, family Sphingidae.
□ The big poplar sphinx moth has two color forms: one quite light in hue (like this one) and a second much darker. And it is definitely big: The photographer said it had a wingspan of 5.5 inches (14 cm).
□ The male has a thinner abdomen with an upward curve; the female’s is thicker and straighter. In addition, the male’s antennae are just a little bushier than the female’s.
Photographed and identified as a moth by: Lee Higby. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: about 4,500 feet elevation, Chino Valley, Arizona, USA. Date: 17 July, 2019.
Lee says, “I’ve never seen one of these here. We’ve lived here 16 years and this girl shows up on my screen door.”
Modest Sphinx (Pachysphinx modesta)
Modest sphinx, Pachysphinx modesta, subfamily Smerinthinae, family Sphingidae.
□ The combination of soft gray-green and rose give this modest sphinx an understated beauty. Some individuals may have more gray than green.
□ As with a number of moths, the caterpillars spend most of their time eating, but the adults forgo feeding during their short lives and put their energy toward mating and laying eggs.
Photographed and identified by: Brett Ortler. Location: Cass County, Minnesota, USA. Date: 19 June, 2020.
Brett has also submitted his photo to inaturalist.org ☺.
Small-Eyed Sphinx Moth (Paonias myops)
Small-eyed sphinx moth, Paonias myops, subfamily Sphinginae, family Sphingidae.
□ The lovely small-eyed sphinx moth has orange, gray and brown swirling patterns on its wings. Each of its hind wings, which are concealed beneath the forewings in this photo, have a blue-centered eye spot. The forewings actually have a straight leading edge: The “hump” in the photo is the hind wing peeking out. Depending on how the moth is sitting, the hump may not be visible.
Photographed by: Janice Skene. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Arborg, Manitoba, Canada. Date: 27 June, 2019.
Janice says, “It is on the front of my house.”
Istar Sphinx Moth (Lintneria istar)
Istar sphinx moth, Lintneria istar, subfamily Sphinginae, family Sphingidae.
□ This istar sphinx has just emerged from its pupa, and when it is slightly bent, the green sutures (the space between each abdominal segment) are visible. See the fully formed adult by clicking here.
Photographed and identified by: Tommy Vick. Location: Davis Mountains, Fort Davis, Texas, USA. Date: 27 May, 2020.
Tommy says it crawled up to a water bowl.

Apatelodidae, the American silkworm moths

Spotted Apatelodes (Apatelodes torrefacta)
Spotted spatelodes, Apatelodes torrefacta, subfamily Apatelodinae, family Apatelodidae.
□ The spotted apatelodes is brown with a number of thin darker brown lines on its wings, and a dark patch at the base of its forewings, as seen here. The curled abdomen is a typical resting pose for this moth. The caterpillar of this moth is covered in long white or yellow hairs.
□ Note: It is sometimes listed instead in the family Bombycidae.
Photographed and identified to order by: Jennifer Workman. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Theodore, Alabama, USA. Date: 5 April, 2020.
Jennifer found this one in her kitchen.
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Sesiidae, the clearwing moths

Squash Vine Borer or Swamp Milkweed Sphinx (Melittia cucurbitae)
Squash vine borer, also known as a swamp milkweed sphinx Melittia cucurbitae, subfamily Sesiinae, family Sesiidae.
□ The squash vine borer is a diurnal moth, which means it is active during the day. Here, the moth is feeding on a milkweed plant.
Photographed by: Annette Raper. Identified to family by: KnowYourInsects.org and Dr. Pedro Pereyra Becker. Location: southern Ontario. Date: 13 July, 2018.
Annette says, “I have never seen this insect before in my area.”
Squash Vine Borer or Swamp Milkweed Sphinx (Melittia cucurbitae)
Squash vine borer, also known as a swamp milkweed sphinx, Melittia cucurbitae, subfamily Sesiinae, family Sesiidae.
□ The squash vine borer exhibits what is called Batesian mimicry, which means that it looks like a second species that has some predator-defending capacity. In this case, the harmless moth imitates the coloration of a stinging wasp, and by doing so, the moth may be protected from potential predators that may mistake the moth for a wasp.
Photographed by: Annette Raper. Identified to family by: KnowYourInsects.org and Dr. Pedro Pereyra Becker. Location: southern Ontario. Date: 13 July, 2018.
Squash Vine Borer or Swamp Milkweed Sphinx (Melittia cucurbitae)
Squash vine borer, also known as a swamp milkweed sphinx, Melittia cucurbitae, subfamily Sesiinae, family Sesiidae.
□ This view of the squash vine borer shows the series of black dots down the middle of the abdomen, and the thick, orange hairs on its hind legs.
Photographed and identified by: Ross Sandelius. Location: Ferndale, Michigan, USA. Date: 12 July, 2019.
Squash Vine Borer or Swamp Milkweed Sphinx (Melittia cucurbitae)
Squash bine borer, also known as a swamp milkweed sphinx, Melittia cucurbitae, subfamily Sesiinae, family Sesiidae.
□ The squash vine borer gets its name from its larva, which bores into the stem of curcubit plants, including melons, cucumbers and squash (see the photographer’s comment below).
Photographed and identified by: David Jacob. Location: North Dakota, USA. Date: 11 July, 2020.
David says, “A beautiful insect, but is destroying my zucchini!”
Squash Vine Borer or Swamp Milkweed Sphinx (Melittia cucurbitae)
Squash bine borer, also known as a swamp milkweed sphinx, Melittia cucurbitae, subfamily Sesiinae, family Sesiidae.
□ These views of the squash vine borer give a nice look at the small white marking on each antennae, and the vivid black-and-white banding on its middle leg. The two white blotches in the middle of its back (at the rear edges of the thorax) are not always visible, but they are clearly seen in these two photos. Notice also how the wings sweep inward toward the rear.
□ Gardeners sometimes see its frass (the word for insect feces) on the outside of the stem — it looks rather like wet sawdust. More information is available by clicking here.
Photographed by: Teresa Koth. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Michigan, USA. Date: 28 June, 2020.
Teresa says, “I would’ve never guessed a moth!!” KnowYourInsects.org says, “Nature is so full of wonderful surprises!”
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Western Poplar Clearwing (Paranthrene robiniae)
Western poplar clearwing, Paranthrene robiniae, subfamily Sesiinae, family Sesiidae.
□ Few people would guess that this western poplar clearwing is a moth, because it is doing a great job of mimicking a wasp, but 6-year-old photographer did! Kudos to Ivy!
□ The western poplar clearwing comes in a couple of color variations: one in black and yellow (like this one), and another that is mostly reddish-brown with thin black and yellow striping on its abdomen. Both varieties have the yellow “U” on the thorax.
Photographed and identified as a moth by: Ivy Martin. Submitted by: Andrea Martin. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Riverside, Washington, USA. Date: 8 July, 2020.
Ivy’s mom Andrea says, “She was so happy to have found this, as this was one insect that was on her ‘list.’”
Wasp Moth, family Sesiidae
Clearwing moth, family Sesiidae.
□ This colorful wasp moth is beautiful with the bands of color on its abdomen.
Photographed by: Amitava Sil. Identified to family by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Kolkata, India. Date: 17 June, 2018.
Clearwing Moth, family Sesiidae
Clearwing moth, family Sesiidae.
□ The clear sections on the wings of this clearwing moth are evident. This species has see-through forewings and hindwings, but some members of this family have clear hind wings, but darker forewings.
Photographed by: Bhuvan Raj. Identified to family by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India. Date: 23 August, 2019.
Clearwing Moth, family Sesiidae
Clearwing moth, family Sesiidae.
□ This underside view of a clearwing moth shows not only the clear sections on its wings, but also the yellow labial palps. The labial palps extend from below the eyes and curve up toward the antennae in this species. The palps are covered with sensory scales that the moth uses to determine if something is sugary and therefore food.
Submitted by: Dirk Sundbaum. Photographed by: Dirk’s daughter. Identified to family by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Auburn, Washington, USA. Date: 10 July, 2020.
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Eupterotidae, the monkey moths
Limacodidae, the slug moths or cup moths

Eupterotid moth, Eupterote
Eupterotid moth in the genus Eupterote, subfamily Eupterotinae, family Eupterotidae.
□ The eupterorid moths have comblike, or pectinate, antennae. 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.
Eupterotid moth, Eupterote
Eupterotid moth in the genus Eupterote, subfamily Eupterotinae, family Eupterotidae.
□ The soild dark brown line acorss all four wings, and the zigzag lines on the forewings help to identify this eupteroid moth. The moths in this family are known as monkey moths or giant lappet moths. Photographed by: Bhuvan Raj. Identified to genus by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India. Date: 20 March, 2020.
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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 blue-striped nettle caterpillar moth 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.

Gelechiidae, the twirler moths
Blastobasidae, the scavenger moths


Curved-Horn Moth (possibly Platyedra subcinerea)
Curved-horn moth, possibly cotton stem moth, Platyedra subcinerea, subfamily Apatetrinae, family Gelechiidae.
□ The curved-horn moth is a member of the family Gelechiidae, which 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 curved-horn moth is only 6mm (1/4 inch) long. Besides feeding on cotton, the larvae of this moth also eat various types of mallow plants, so it is sometimes called a Mallow Groundling.
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.
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Scavenger Moth (family Blastobasidae)
Scavenger moth, family Blastobasidae.
□ Two characteristics of the scavenger moth and other membrrs of the family Blastobasidae is curved labial palpi (see the Gelechiidae entry for description) and the shape of wings being narrowed apically (narrowed toward the wingtips), according to moth expert Richard L. Brown, who identified this specimen. He adds, “About 75 percent of the North American species of this family are undescribed and have no name.” To see the variation in this family, click here (about two-thirds of the way down the page). The moth shown above is about 7 mm (0.28 inches) long. Note: This family was once considered a subfamily of the family Coleophoridae.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size photos here, here and here. Identified by: Richard L. Brown, Ph.D., director of the Mississippi Entomological Museum and W.L. Giles Distinguished Professor at Mississippi State University. Thank you, Dr. Brown! Location: City of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 30 October, 2018.

Oecophoridae, the concealer moths

White shouldered House Moth (Endrosis sarcitrella)
White-shouldered house moth Endrosis sarcitrella, subfamily Oecophorinae, family Oecophoridae.
□ The white-shouldered house moth is fairly common around the United States and the world, according to Jeff Smith of the Bohart Museum of Entomology. He adds, “Larvae feed on dry plant materials and are a very minor pest in homes where they may infest dry food products. It also comes to lights, so its presence in a home most often is merely coincidental and it poses no threat.” This moth has long fringes along the trailing edges of the hindwings, and curved labial palps that look rather like a severe underbite.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size photos here, here and here. Identified by: moth specialist Jeff Smith of the Bohart Museum of Entomology. Thank you, Jeff! Location: City of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 16 April, 2019.
Thomas notes that this moth was about 7mm long.
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Tineidae, the fungus moths or tineid moths
Fungus Moth, Erechthias simulans
Fungus moth, Erechthias simulans, family Tineidae.
□ The fungus moth is small 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, where this photo was taken, 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.
Yellow V Moth (Oinophila v-flavum)
Yellow V moth, Oinophila v-flavum, family Tineidae.
□ The yellow V moth has a light-colored “V” running across in the middle of each forewing. The photographer said it was 5 mm (0.2 inches) long.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size photos of this moth here, here, and here. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 12 September, 2020.
Thomas noticed the “long scales at the end of the wings, tuff of scales on the top of the head, (and) labial palps.”
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Psychidae, the bagworm, clothes and tubeworm moths
Uraniidae, the swallowtail moths

Bagworm Moth (Cryptothelea gloverii)
Bagworm moth in the genus Cryptothelea, either Cryptothelea gloverii or Cryptothelea nigrita, subfamily Psychinae, family Psychidae.
□ This little bagworm moth has a wingspan of only about 0.5-0.75 inches (1.4-1.8 cm), but its comb-like antennae are quite large. The caterpillar spins silk around different kinds of debris to make a bag and lives inside. To see a caterpillar in its bag, click here.
Photographed by: Marv Goldberg. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: near Tamarac, Florida, USA. Date: 30 January, 2021.
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Swallowtail Moth (Pseudomicronia spp.)
Swallowtail moth, in the genus Pseudomicronia, family Uraniidae.
□ The moths in this family (Uraniidae) are called swallowtail moths because they have extensions on the back of their hind wings. This species has small ones, but some have much long extensions that rival those of swallowtail butterflies. This Swallowtail Moth has an intricate, beige streaking — somewhat like a wood grain — on all four wings, and a small black dot at the trailing edge of each hind wing.
Photographed by: Surani Pratik. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Navsari, Gujarat, India. Date: 28 September, 2018.

Tortricidae, the tortricid moths

Rose Garden Tortrix Moth (Acleris variegana)
Rose garden tortrix moth, Acleris variegana, subfamily Tortricinae, family Tortricidae.
□ With a name like rose garden tortrix, it is no surprise that the caterpillars, in particular, feed on rose plants. They also munch on apple trees. The photos show the top, side and bottom views, courtesy of the photographer — thank you, Thomas!
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size photos here, here, and here. Identified by: moth specialist Dr. Nick Mills, professor of insect population ecology and curator of the Essig Museum of Entomology, California Academy of Sciences, at Berkeley. Location: city of San Bruno, San Mateo County, California, USA. Date: 22 September, 2018.
Thomas says, “We don’t have any roses or apples in our yard but a neighbor does have a small rose bush. I found this one inside the house, parked on a wall near the ceiling.”
Rose Garden Tortrix Moth (Acleris variegana)
Rose garden tortrix moth, Acleris variegana, subfamily Tortricinae, family Tortricidae.
□ The rose garden tortrix moth may have a nearly entirely cream-colored front half, or the front half may have a dark center as seen here. The side view handily shows the tufts, including the largest one right behind the head.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size photos here, here, and here. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: city of San Bruno, San Mateo County, California, USA. Date: 4 October, 2019.
Thomas says it was about 7mm long.
Oak Leafroller (Argyrotaenia quercifoliana)
Oak leafroller, also known as a yellow-winged oak leafroller or oakleaf tortrix, Argyrotaenia quercifoliana, subfamily Tortricinae, family Tortricidae.
□ The oak leafroller is a small moth — less than half an inch (about 10 mm) long — with a pattern of thin, brown, often broken lines on its otherwise cream-colored forewings. When at rest, it has the silhouette seen here.
Photographed and identified by: Leslie Mertz. Location: Markey Township, Roscommon County, Michigan, USA. Date: 4 July, 2019.
Leslie says, “This little moth was perched on a leaf in a flower bed under some oak trees about 150 feet from a lake shoreline.
Juniper Budworm Moth (Choristoneura houstonana)
Juniper budworm, Choristoneura houstonana, subfamily Tortricinae, family Tortricidae.
□ The juniper budworm has an intricate design of brown markings on a shimmering silver to gold background, sometimes with some reddish color added in. Its caterpillars are considered a pest of eastern red cedar trees.
Photographed by: Robert Carpenter. See Robert’s cool slow-motion nature video here. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Kerrville, Texas, USA. Date: Unknown.
Tortricid Moth (in the genus Eucosma)
Tortricid moth, possibly a light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana, subfamily Tortricinae, family Tortricidae.
□ Native to Australia, the light brown apple moth appeared in the continental United States in 2006, when it was identified in Berkeley, California. The appearance of individuals varies widely: to see some of that variety, click here (bugguide.net).
□ A close-up of the antennae is shown in the photo at right. The photographer estimated the moth’s total length at 11 mm.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size photo here. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: city of San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 5 April, 2019.
Insect facts
Many of the moths in the Tortricidae family have a broad, rather bell-shaped silhouette, as seen in some of the examples on this page.
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Tortricid Moth (in the genus Eucosma)
Tortricid moth in the genus Eucosma, subfamily Olethreutinae, family Tortricidae.
□ This tortricid 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, subfamily Olethreutinae, family Tortricidae.
□ Moth specialist Dave Wikle notes that species-level identification of this tortricid moth 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.
Orange Tortricid, Tortricidae
Tortricid moth in the genus Loboschiza, quite possibly an orange tortricid, also known as a leaf webber, Loboschiza koenigiana, subfamily Olethreutinae, family Tortricidae.
□ The orange tortricid is covered with irregular, orange lines and spots that decorate both its large yellow section and its wide, dark-brown section. It occurs in Southeast Asia and parts of Australia and Africa. Its caterpillar eats hibiscus, jasmine, and other shrubs.
Photographed by: Kannu Priya. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: India. Date: 31 October, 2020.
Kannu found this moth while traveling by train.
Tortricid Moth, Tortricidae
Tortricid moth in the tribe Eucosmini, subfamily Olethreutinae, family Tortricidae.
□ These photos show top, bottom and side views of this tortricid moth.
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. See his full-size photos here, here, and here. Identified by: Richard L. Brown, Ph.D., director of the Mississippi Entomological Museum and W.L. Giles Distinguished Professor at Mississippi State University. Thank you, Dr. Brown! Location: city of San Bruno, San Mateo County, California, USA. Date: 2 April, 2019.
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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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