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This is the largest and most broad-winged of wasp moths in North America.

Thanks for your comments and faves,they are truly appreciated

Virginia ctenucha moths fly around during the daylight just like butterflies do instead of after dark and they count on those bold blackish-blue and orange colors to protect them from predators since that striking color combination makes them look very similar to a dangerous wasp.

Ctenucha virginica on Gooseneck Loosestrife

This yellow-collared scape moth looks almost identical to a Virginia ctenucha moth and I won't get into the ID details here but suffice it to say that around here the Virginia ctenucha moth flies in early summer and the yellow-collared scape moth flies in the fall. This individual has an orange collar behind its head but of course that collar color can also be yellow. Females lay eggs on grass or maybe even goldenrod plants and the young caterpillars feed on those plant tissues after dark, overwintering in the leaf litter before maturing the following spring. Yellow-collared scape moths fly during the day since their bold black and yellow/orange colors make them look like a dangerous wasp that nobody wants to bother.

seen at Victoria Park, in Truro, Nova Scotia Canada.

This beautiful moth

Shared many minutes with me

At Butterfly Bush

Another moth, captured a few days ago.Compared to my last post the light was much better here, as the sun had gone behind a cloud and this was closer to a large area of trees, hence the high ISO and relatively slow shutter speed. It only stayed put for a short while and I was not able to get another angle on it, but I am more than fine with that. It may not be the best image for ID, but as an overall image I am thrilled with it. I love how it's weight has curled the piece of grass it is holding onto, creating a gentle curve to the blade, next to the the straight up and down blade, with other blades below going in different directions.


I think it is such a cool looking moth with amazing colours. There even seems to be a bit of green in it, although that could be iridescence or maybe even reflections of vegetation around it.


I hope to come across it again, but as a first image and encounter, although brief, I am thrilled to have what I got.

I'm positive what moth this is but It could be ...

Black Wings and Orange Head - Ctenucha virginica

– Virginia Ctenucha moth.

This is a stunning creature, the largest of the wasp moths. Its luminescent electric blue body and bright orange face are utterly distinctive in the forest. It has a tiny blue band between its eyes as well.

The genus name Ctenucha was coined by William Kirby from the Greek meaning "having a comb", a reference to the showy antennae of some species.

U of Guelph Arboretum

A Virginia Ctenucha Moth.

Very neat colors


Carver Park Reserve, Victoria, MN

taken with Canon EOS Rebel XSi


Canon EF-S 55-250 mm lens


July 22, 2010, Oak Hammond Marsh,


east of Stonewall, Manitoba

One of three images taken at Mud Creek Environmental Learning Center in Ghent (Columbia County), New York, USA on August 20, 2018. I believe this is a Yellow-Collared Scape Moth. The Virginia Ctenucha Moth looks similar.

We were fortunate enough, to linger in the meadow long enough, to catch a glimpse of this lovely lady moth laying her eggs; a good reminder to slow down and dawdle a bit when on the path.

Sharing some neat nature links on the blog today.

And the male version of this Virginia Ctenucha moth can be seen here.

Virginia ctenucha moths are also appearing on flowers like these daisy fleabanes in grassy habitats now. Even though they're a moth, they fly during the day since those orange, blue and black colors make them look just like a wasp, and we certainly wouldn't want to mess with them.

Ctenucha virginica


19 June 2016


© Bruce Bolin K1__0625ce

Male Virginia Ctenucha moth. The largest wasp moth in North America. Taken at Flat Island, Newfoundland.

Please double click to see the facial features of this moth.


In a below average year for butterflies, it was nice to see perhaps a dozen of these moths during my outings, a good total.

Plain caterpillar

Turns into a lovely moth


Black shades with feathers

Shiny blue suit and brown cape

This dude is so cool

Plain caterpillar

Turns into a lovely moth


virginia ctenucha moth on milkweed

Chikaming Township Park, Berrien County, MI USA


Not to be confused with the yellow-collared scape moth. (which I confused it with)

Virginia Ctenucha Moth

Photographed in Stark County, Ohio.

This is a rather unusual moth. For one thing, it flies during the day. It is also known as a wasp moth since it looks similar to said wasp. This moth looks nearly identical to the yellow-collared scape moth that flies later in the summer season and has a wider orange "collar" behind its head. This one was flying on the fen farm's prairie.

Virginia Ctenucha Moth

I like the way these turned out using my birding rig, but if I want to make the best of these opportunities, I should get a good macro lens.


Also included in the first comment box are dorsal and ventral shots of a Silverspotted Skipper and a Stripped Hairstreak.


Strathcona County, Alberta. July 04, 2013.

Ever since I saw my very first one of these wonderful little dark cloaked moths, I have been fascinated with them. When they are young/new, their blue bellies are quite predominant -- especially if you happen to notice them in flight. I didn't realize until I actually FINALLY caught one in flight that their whole torso is blue and their dark cape-like wings usually are covering that fact. I also never realized they had a white around those wings, until I caught this handsome fella still sleeping a couple of days ago.


Speaking of Moths, I was so bored that same day with the continual rain on again, off again, for days now --- that I switched lenses to my 55mm, and took photos of all the Moths that had taken refuge in my motor home. Even I was surprised at the number and variety when I put them all together to create a rather colorful collage (below) -- don't you think?

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