Holy...CRAP!

Phildeez(9b)August 17, 2013

So i was in my garage and I noticed something weird folded up in the bottom of a pint glass. I picked up the glass and it freaking started flapping, nearly causing me to die of a heart attack. It was a bird! NO. It was a freaking monster moth the likes of which I have never seen. Look at that wing span!

I thought it was a hummingbird moth but it appears not and I have not ID'd it yet.

Then while walking inside with the moth-filled cup I almost stepped on a that cool assassin bug with some leaf-camo. I have never actually found one in years of gardening, so it was a cool morning on Phil's Bug Farm.

Any ideas on the moth/butterfly?

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MrClint

The UC Davis IPM site is our friend. :)

The guy at the top of the page is not a good guy, that's a Leaffooted Plant Bug. These guys huddle around my pomegranates and stick their long snouts in for a drink. Kill them on sight. The nymphs do look like assassin bugs, so observe closely.

I have no idea on the moth.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 11:13PM
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Phildeez(9b)

I could not turn it up on the Davis site, although that is a good resource and I happen to live in Davis so I should have thought of that. I am thinking of calling around to see if they want to pin this guy in a collection on campus.

I thought it was a 5 or 6 spotted Hawk Moth, but I think otherwise upon closer inspection.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 1:07AM
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gyr_falcon(Sunset 23 USDA 9)

The moth may be one that is called a Black Witch. They are a bit variable in coloration. Their range is usually Mexico and Central America, but they do wander into the US.

Edit to add: from this source, link below, they can be found as far north as Newfoundland and Minnesota!

Here is a link that might be useful: Ascalapha odorata

This post was edited by Gyr_Falcon on Sun, Aug 18, 13 at 2:51

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 2:46AM
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Phildeez(9b)

Thanks, Gyr_Falcon, I think you're right. I am surprised that i found this semi-rare moth stuck in a pint glass in my garage. It was very lifeless so I left it on the table all day, I believe that it was nocturnal because it came to life this evening but its wings were too damaged to fly. Luckily I found a friend with a bug collection who was happy to pin him.

Shame I so haphazardly ID'd the leaf bug, it was happily hiding in my tomatoes by the time I read the first response :(.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 6:38AM
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MrClint

Phildeez, you're on the right track. It's better to ID bugs first rather than just kill them indiscriminately.

The Davis IPM sheets can be a bit of a challenge to traverse at first, but over time you'll come to find things easier. I just wish the entry points were based on the bug's overall description rather than generic entry points like "Natural environment pests." If we could start our searches with "hard body", "six legs", or such it would be a much better resource IMO.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 10:19AM
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Phildeez(9b)

Yeah I agree they need different. I had no idea what category this moth is under, technically the caterpillar is the pest and the moth might be considered beneficial because it pollinates. I would not exactly call the moth a pest except that it does lay the eggs.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 4:37PM
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