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black butterfly with white spots

Posted by kimpa z6b PA (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 12, 08 at 15:47

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!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: black butterfly with white spots

It's probably an eight spotted forester moth.
crazy4bugs

Here is a link that might be useful: forester moth


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RE: black butterfly with white spots

  • Posted by ladobe 9 - Las Vegas (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 12, 08 at 18:39

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.


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RE: black butterfly with white spots

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


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RE: black butterfly with white spots

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


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RE: black butterfly with white spots

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:

Photobucket

Susan


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RE: black butterfly with white spots

  • Posted by kimpa z6b PA (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 13, 08 at 12:09

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


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RE: black butterfly with white spots

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.


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