Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Virginia Ctenucha, a day-flying wasp moth
The Virginia Ctenucha (Ctenucha virginica) is a large, common day-flying wasp moth in the Subfamily Ctenuchinae (Wasp Moths) in the family ARCTIIDAE (Tiger Moths). The body is metallic blue and the head and sides of the collar are orange. It feeds on grasses, sedges and irises. These pictures were taken at a Christmas tree farm on Upper Woodland Road south of Stanley on 6 July 2006. It's not often that you find and are able to photograph a moth emerging from a pupa.
The other moth species (seen here mating on a leaf, 10 August 2006 in Fredericton) is a look-alike, which I had misidentified as a Virginia Ctenucha. It is a Yellow-collared Scape Moth (Cisseps fulvicollis), of the same subfamily as Ctenucha, and is common to abundant in our area. The body is bluish black with an orange collar that forms a narrow band behind the black head. Scape moths eat grasses, lichens and spike-rushes.