black butterfly with white spots

kimpa(z6b PA)June 12, 2008

I live in southeast Pennsylvania and saw a medium sized black butterfly or moth today. It had 3 large white spots on each wing top and I saw an orange body or something orange underneath. It landed on a blackberry flower and had its wings open as it rested. I have searched plenty and can't find a name or picture. Any ideas what it could be? Thanks!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's probably an eight spotted forester moth.

Here is a link that might be useful: forester moth

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 6:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sounds like a Forester Moth (Alypia sp) from the short description you offered, although I don't know if they have ever been recorded in your state. Records are few, very spotty and widespread for A. octomaculata in the NE for example (and yes, they can have or only appear to have 3 white spots).

Best I can do from your description.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 6:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I can add that the 8-spotted forester is commonly mistaken for a butterfly because they fly during the day and they are prettier than a lot of moths. Do you have any grape vines, or Virginia Creeper around? That is a host plant for this moth.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 9:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
misskimmie(z4b Central NY)

Yes, It does look like the 8 spotted forester. Gosh you guys are good. But I knew that. I do have grapevines - both wild and cultivated varieties and virginia creeper. I did take a nice picture but it's still in my camera. will post pict later. - kim

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 10:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Their caterpillars are also pretty. But, I didn't raise any because they have a quirky way of pupating (in holes in wood, etc.).

Caterpillar on Virginia Creeper:


    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 11:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kimpa(z6b PA)

Wow, thank you to all. I sure hope I see it again. And I will check for caterpillars too.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 12:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I know I need to post a photo of this moth/butterfly. It was found in Iowa, Council Bluffs. Is tiny, very obvious. There is a photo on my Facebook site under Susan Thomson. Would love an ID for it. It's not an eight spotted forester moth. Wrong shape & color & spots.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 2:12PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Spring preview
Unseasonably warm temps caused early flowering of desert...
Butterflies in my house - what should I do?
I found a cabbage white fluttering between the inner...
Found a tagged Monarch today
It was on some Milkweed flowers. I could see a white...
Disney's "Wings of Life"
If you want to be truly astonished by the beauty and...
Milkweed germination times and rates
Someone was kind enough to send me all sorts of seeds...
kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)
Sponsored Products
White French Perle Dip Bowl - Set of Three
$22.99 | zulily
Simpli Home Cabinets Winston 37 in. W Vanity in White with Quartz Marble Vanity
Home Depot
Duravit - One-piece toilet Starck 2 white with mech. - 2133010005
$843.50 | PlumbTile
Hiya Crib - Spot on Square
$749.00 | HORNE
Orbitor White 16-Inch Outdoor Pendant with Frosted Glass and White Cord
$208.95 | Bellacor
French Crest 13 1/2" Wide 2-Light Pendant Drum Chandelier
Lamps Plus
Monarch Specialties 7046 Office Desk in White
Beyond Stores
Euro Style Chelsea 35 Round White Coffee Table
$298.00 | LuxeDecor
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™