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!

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crazy4bugs

It's probably an eight spotted forester moth.
crazy4bugs

Here is a link that might be useful: forester moth

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 6:32PM
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ladobe

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.

L.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 6:39PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

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.

Susan

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 9:55AM
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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
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

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:

Susan

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 11:58AM
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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
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sandytom_tconl_com

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
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