Ento-musings from the University of Kentucky Department of Entomology

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Moth 4: National Moth Week

Blake Newton, UK Extension Entomology

Today's moth looks a lot like a butterfly:

In fact, I thought it was a butterfly the first time I saw it. It's got colorful wings like a butterfly. It was flitting around during the day like a butterfly. What makes it a moth instead of a butterfly? The key is the antennae: most butterflies have knobbed antennae, while most moths have straight, threadlike antennae (or plumed, feathery antennae). There are some exceptions to this rule, but not among moths and butterflies that you are likely to find in Kentucky.

This creature has threadlike antennae, so it's a moth. Where do we go from there?

This one was pretty easy to identify. Google Image: "black moth red white." I find something that looks like my moth in the second image. A click takes me straight to bugguide's entry for Psychomorpha epimenis, a.k.a. the "Grapevine Epimenis." A quick check through the info suggest that this moth is occurs in my area and that there aren't any moths that are commonly mistaken this one, so I'm pretty confident on this one.

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