Female Anisota species have simple ciliate antennae, so it apears that the Reverend had a gentleman caller rather than a lady, based on antennae which appear quadripectinate for basal 3/4 in the image.
Many of the male Anisota species are quite sexually dimorphic from the females. The males tend to have hyaline areas on the forewings, but that is not the case with Anisota stigma.
I am pretty sure the image is of an Anisota stigma male. Both males and females of that Anisota species come to lights, and male stigma are without hyaline areas on forewings.
For sure it is not an Anisota virginiensis male as they do have hyaline areas on the forewings and are seldom if ever seen at lights, and for me it has much too much black speckling and wrong antennae to be a female virginiensis.
Some people recognize pellucida as a subspecies of virginiensis, but others equate the redder specimens in southern portions of the range with nominate virginiensis.
Nice picture of what I am pretty sure is a stigma male.
Last Edit: Sept 17, 2011 4:17:45 GMT -8 by oehlkew
Rev., Here are two Georgia pages that you might find useful: www.silkmoths.bizland.com/GAsphinx.htm and www.silkmoths.bizland.com/Georgiacatocala.htm I would like to post your image of the Anisota stigma, credited to you, to my stigma page on the WLSS (World's Largest Saturniidae Site). If you could let me know the Georgia county, that would be appreciated as well. If you can also remember the date to within a day or so, that would also be great. Bill Oehlke
Post by Rev. Redmond Farrier on Sept 17, 2011 11:51:21 GMT -8
Thank you for the links. They are quite interesting and helpful. I should be able to i.d. a couple of my other moths using those sites. According to my records it was 08/24/2011 at around 2a.m. It was collected in Upson County.
I caught a couple of other interesting specimens that same month at my porch and carport lights. I haven't researched them yet for i.d. though.
The first one was collected on 08/15 at 10:20p.m.
The other was collected on 08/19 at 7:30a.m.
I had actually caught another one like this one a couple of weeks prior to catching this one, but it was before I researched spreading them. I still have the first one, but it has pin holes in the forewings where I jammed pins through them to hold them in place.
The first Sphingidae with the yellow spots on the abdomen is Manduca sexta, the second one is Xylophanes tersa. With your permission (??) I will post them, credited to you, to an Upson County thumbnail checklist that I will create.
Hopefully the page will help you and others id the Sphingidae likely to be encountered in Upson County.
I am interested in Saturniidae, Sphingidae and Catocala, but those are the only moths that I study and with which I have any "expertise". I am very interested in posting high quality images of any stages from those groups, and the data is also very useful. All images I post on my websites remain the property of respective photographers and are credited to photographers.
Post by starlightcriminal on Sept 18, 2011 6:50:37 GMT -8
Bill, I have seen both genders of that exact moth here in Florida too. I know this is the female as I have seen them mating and in fact have raised them myself from ova to adult two years ago. The caterpillar has the pairs of whip-like horns and a "pink" stripe, I made the ID originally from the caterpillar and then confirmed when the first adult eclosed, I thought virginiensis too just the Rev. They do end up at lights not uncommonly, they end up all over my work place two times a year near the entrances to the buildings with the brightest security lights. The little males can become a nuissance where I work because they colonize trees that are used right near the entrances of the building and are constantly being sucked in due to the reverse airflow mechanism on the doors. In my experience they are on the wing about 10am. I don't know when the females fly but I don't see them flying during the day ever, just the male. I have seen them mating though so I know this is the corresponding pair, plus I raised them and both come from a single clutch of ova.
They are mating mid morning, the male being day flying and much smaller. The male has the typical clear panels on the wings. They are extremely abundant sometimes. I find them frequently. Maybe the name is not right, but the gender definitely is. With the male, it is small, much more acutely angled and is fairly red winged with two white dots and large trapezoidal clear panes on the wings. I think it is A. virginiensis too but you are the expert in this area so with that description of the male, do you think we are correct?
Post by starlightcriminal on Sept 18, 2011 7:01:15 GMT -8
Ah, I see some small differences. I checked my specimens, no dark markings so maybe mine are virginiensis and this is probably stigma like you indicate. The antennae look right though, they are not very distinguishable to me by antennae so I must be missing something. A. virginiensis is very dimorphic as you point out, no question which is which at all. Can I email you photos of a pair of what I am talking about for comparison?
Starlight, Females of the Ceratocampinae subfamily of Saturniidae have antennae that are ciliate, i.e., they look like very thin wires with no lateral branches. Male antennae in this subfamily have lateral branches on the lower two thirds on the antenna shaft. The first moth in this series of images posted by Rev. Redmond Farrier, labeled as Anisota virginiensis pellucida, is definitely a male. I can see the lateral branches on the antennae. Have a closer look. Happy to have a look at your images and offer an opinion. Post them here or send in a private email. You probably have virginiensis, based on your description (but female would not have so many dark speckles in the wings), but I do not think Rev. Redmond has altered his photo to try to trick us, so I am going to stick with a male stigma. Do you have an image of a male stigma for comparison? I would be very surprised if you have an image of a female virginiensis with so many small black dots on the wings. In your area and also in Rev. Redmond's area females of Anisota peigleri have extensive spotting on the wings and the males have the hyaline area on the forewings so maybe that is what you have encountered as a pair is there is extensive spotting on the wings. The antennae shown in the Rev. Redmond's photo of the Anisota species are definitely not female antennae. Have a look at the stigma pair in copula on WLSS. On the virginiensis page on WLSS there is a picture of a virginiensis female by Jesse Donavan where you can see the ciliate antennae. See: Anisota virginiensis female, Salem County, New Jersey, courtesy of Jesse Donovan. All of the Anisota females have antennae like those on the Jesse Donavan image. Unfortunately when the live moths are at rest, the antennae are often at rest against the head or upper thorax and not so clearly visible. Bill Oehlke
Last Edit: Sept 18, 2011 13:14:02 GMT -8 by oehlkew
Rev., Thanks for the second photo. Those are clearly male antennae, typical of the Ceratocampinae subfamily. Because the Anisota species are smaller moths, they are not so often collected and displayed. Larger, more spectacular moths from same subfamily: Citheronia regalis and Eacles imperialis have the same features on the antennae and they are more likely to be clearly seen on spread females: ciliate antennae on females for entire length; branched/feathery antennae on lower 2/3 of shaft on males These same antennal characters do not apply to other Saturniidae subfamilies. I am going to post a pale female (devoid of most, more typical pink scales) Dryocampa rubicunda, the Rosy Maple, which shows the ciliate antennae typical of females of this subfamily (Ceratocampinae). Photo is copyright by Viktor Suter, as it appears on WLSS with permission. In subsequent post I am going to show live male Dryocampa rubicunda with antennae showing. That image is copyright by Tim Dyson as it appears on WLSS, with permission. Bill Oehlke
Last Edit: Sept 19, 2011 0:28:36 GMT -8 by oehlkew
Post by starlightcriminal on Sept 20, 2011 10:44:06 GMT -8
Yep, that's it. Mine is A. virginiensis and exhibits the quadripectinate antennae. Hard to see in tiny Ceratos without a lens (for me anyway) because of the hunch-backed posture, however you would term that. But I can see it easily if I turn the specimen over and look from the ventral side. Mine do not have the speckling, but I also made the ID from the larvae so I am fairly confident it's correct as it was confirmed by the resulting imagos. Hmm, seems to me if you like Saturnidae then you should collect them all, not just the fancy ones. I guess it depends on whether you are making a collection or just a display. Too bad they aren't collected more, they are not uncommon at all. I'll snap some photos soon, just haven't gotten to it yet.
Post by saturniidave on Sept 20, 2011 16:57:23 GMT -8
I collect all Saturniidae and would love some Anisotas, but no-one will sell them outside of the States. I think the only species I have is peigleri, and that is thanks to Ric Peigler who sent them to me. Dave
I started life with nothing and I still have plenty left.