I just noticed this moth in my garden today for the first time. I don't know if it is harmful to my vegetable plants. Does anyone recognize it?
It's a butterfly. And only seeing underwing markings makes it tough, 20" skim thru guide at hand doesn't get close...
Yep, it's a skipper (type of butterfly), but there are so many . You might be able to get it identified at the Butterfly Gardening Forum. Some really great ID experts in there, though skippers are a real challenge: so many of them and they often look so much alike.
I tend to think of skipper larvae as miner pests of lawns and other plants. They often make little tents from leaves and silk for protection from the hot summer sun. I can't think of any that would be considered a pest of veggies in particular.
I've always got lots of adult skippers all over my flowers, but never see any damage caused by their larvae.
Of the 3,000 or so Skippers the larva of most feed on grasses or flowering plants (I once heard from someone that swore that because one fed on Locusts it was an insect predator) there is on that the larva is known as the Beanleaf Roller. However, I would think these would be minor (small, insignificant), not miner (burrowing), pests.
The overarching point here is that most critters are either beneficial or benign, and just because it exists doesn't make it a pest. Butterflies are most welcome in our garden, and the plant material in our yard reflects that outlook.