Tag: moths (Page 1 of 4)

Bug of the Week: Moth Extravaganza

Bug of the Week has been re-booted by some recent rains here in Arizona. I’ve been getting notifications of insects that I haven’t seen for a long time. It’s so exciting!

Erinnyis ello caterpillar

Photograph by Peg Lynck, used with permission.

Take for instance this caterpillar a friend found on what she called a pencil cactus, Euphorbia sp.

Photograph by Peg Lynck, used with permission

Here are two more.

See those tiny, stubby horns at the back of the abdomen? That means they are members of the hornworm or sphinx moth family. A little research shows they are ello sphinx (Erinnyis ello) caterpillars.

Ello sphinx caterpillars vary quite a bit in color. Some are green, or a mix of green and brownish-gray.

Public domain image from Wikimedia

The adult moths are known for their lovely burnt orange underwings.

Here’s another moth that has been spotted a lot this summer.

Photograph by Peg Lynck, used with permission.

Given the memorable common name of black witch moth (Ascalapha odorata),the species is found in the southern United States through Central America and into South America. Flying at night, these relatively large moths can resemble bats. During the day they rest on the walls of houses.

The caterpillars feed on various legumes, including Acacia sp., Senna sp. and mesquites.

White-lined sphinx moths are also active now. They can be active during the day as well as at night.

It is wonderful to watch nature rebound after last year’s extreme heat and drought.

What moths are you seeing right now?

Time to Celebrate National Moth Week

National Moth Week started yesterday, July 18, 2020, and runs through next Sunday.

To celebrate, we will have some posts about moths this week, but if you’d like to get a a head start, try:

1. Amazing videos of moths and caterpillars at The Caterpillar Lab channel.

2. The Kids Page at the National Moth Week website (with free moth coloring book).

3. The butterfly and moth activities on our website.

Plus, be sure to check out our growing list of children’s books about moths and butterflies.

Public domain image of Imperial Moth from the  Smithsonian.

Bug of the Week: Moths for National Moth Week

Let’s take a look at a few moths in celebration of National Moth Week.

hummingbird-hawk-moth-flying(Photo via Visual Hunt)

Although moths are usually creatures of the night, it isn’t unusual to see sphinx or hawk moths (Family Sphingidae) flying around flowers during the day. Some of the larger ones resemble hummingbirds in flight, hence their other common name “hummingbird moth.”

moth-cerura-vinula(Photo via Visual Hunt)

How do you tell if the insect you are seeing is a butterfly or moth? The hairy body and feathery antennae are good clues.



See our list of children’s books about moths and butterflies at Science Books for Kids.

Do you have any new suggestions for our list? Have you seen any interesting moths for moth week?



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