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A List of Some
of Central America
including those during
Focus On Nature Tours
This List of Central American Moths
compiled by Armas Hill
A LINK to a LIST of CENTRAL AMERICA BUTTERFLIES
Photo at upper right: an ORIZABA SILKMOTH, Rothchildia orizaba
(photo by Francisco Crespo, in October 2012, in Boquete, in western Panama)
H#xxxx: Hodge's Numbers These numbers come from the "Check List of the Lepidoptera North of Mexico" by R.W. Hodges et al.
The 1983 list (actually compiled thru 1978) is outdated, but the numbers for now continue to be used.
Numbers noted as (BMCR:xxx) refer to plates with an illustration in the book "Butterflies & Moths of Costa Rica" by Isidro Chacon & Jose Montero, 2007 (followed by -c: caterpillar, -co: caterpillar only)
Numbers noted as (ICR:xxx) refer to pages with a photograph in the book "Butterflies, Moths, and Other Invertebrates of Costa Rica, A Field Guide" by Carrol Henderson, 2010 (ICR = Invertebrates Costa Rica)
Numbers noted as (W:xx) refer to pages with a photograph in the book "Caterpillars of Eastern North America" by David Wagner, 2005.
Numbers noted as (100BM:xx) refer to numbered plates in the book "100 Butterflies and Moths, Portraits from the Tropical Forest of Costa Rica", by Jeffrey Miller, Daniel Janzen, Winifred Hallwachs, 2007
Numbers noted as (100C:xx) refer to numbered plates in the book "100 Caterpillars, Portraits from the Tropical Forest of Costa Rica", by Jeffrey Miller, Daniel Janzen, Winifred Hallwachs, 2007
For both of these books, codes followed by -c: indicates that there is in the book a photograph of the caterpillar.
Actually for all of the species in both books, there are photographs of caterpillars and the adult butterflies and moths.
To view the caterpillar and adult butterfly and moth photos online go to:
BZ: in Belize
CR: in Costa Rica
GU: in Guatemala
MX: in Mexico
PN: in Panama
(*) following the two-letter code indicates a species seen during a FONT tour in that country
(ph): species with a photo in the FONT website
An excellent source for the moths noted here as occurring in Belize is the website "Moths of Belize" by Matthew Barnes.
Some of the information in that site is from the published "Lepidoptera of Belize" in 1999 by Jan Meerman.
A LINK TO THE MOTHS OF BELIZE WEBSITE:
In this listing, there is some updated taxonomy with the family EREBIDAE containing moths that were formerly classified in the family NOCTUIDAE, plus all of the former members of the families ARCTIIDAE and LYMANTRIIDAE.
This re-classification has not yet met with general consensus, and many resources and publications still follow the older classification scheme.
As of now, there are about 1,137 species of moths in this list.
Among the Moth Groupings in the following list, links to these families:
Uraniidae: Scoopwings positioned at the beginning of the list due to their attractiveness, would be by GEOMETRIDAE
Cossidae: Cossid Millers Megalopygidae: Flannel Moths Aididae
Limacodidae: Cupmoths Dalceridae Lacturidae Zygaenidae Castniidae Mimallonidae
Lasiocampidae Eupterotidae Bombycidae Pyralidae: Pyralid, or Snout Moths Thyrididae
Castniidae: Giant Butterfly
Geometridae: Geometer Moths (Loopers, Inchworms, Spanworms)
Saturniidae: Giant Silkmoths Sphingidae: Sphinx Moths Lymantriidae: Tussock Moths
Sematuridae: American Swallowtail Moths Notodontidae: Prominents Dioptinae Doidae
DIOPTINAE (above) is a distinctive subfamily in the family NOTODONTIDAE.
subfamily Herminiinae: Litter Moths Erebidae: subfamily
Erebinae (was Catocalinae)
Erebidae: subfamilies Hypeninae, Calpinae, Eulepidotinae
Arctiinae: Tiger Moths, Ctenuchini: Wasp Moths, Lithosiini: Lichen Moths, & Pericopini
The families EUTELLIDAE
and NOLIDAE closely related to NOCTUIDAE (below).
In this list with EUTELIIDAE are those in the subfamily STICTOPTERINAE (of NOCTUIDAE).
In NOLIDAE are the NOLID or TUFT MOTHS, including the subfamilies CHLOEPHORINAE, SARROTHRIPINAE, NOLINAE.
The families EUTELIIDAE and NOLIDAE are in the NOCTUOIDEA superfamily. .
Noctuidae: subfamilies Plusiinae, Bagisarinae, Acontiinae, Acronictinae, Cucullinae
PLUSIINAE (in the link above)
includes LOOPERS and MILLER MOTHS.
ACONTIINAE are the BIRD-DROPPING MOTHS.
CUCULLINAE are the HOODED OWLETS.
Noctuidae: subfamilies Agaristinae, Condicinae, Heliothinae Noctuidae: subfamily Noctuinae
In AGARISTINAE are the WOOD-NYMPHS and FORESTERS.
CONDICINAE are the GROUNDLINGS.
HELIOTHINAE are the FLOWER MOTHS.
Upcoming Birding & Nature Tours in the Cemtral America Upcoming FONT Tours Elsewhere
Alphabetical Directory of Moths by Genus with Photos in the FONT Website
Other Photo Galleries & Lists of: Butterflies, Moths, Dragonflies & Damselflies
Reptiles Marine Life
Links to Lists of Moths with some Photos in:
Eastern North America The West Indies South America Europe Japan
Photographed in Panama, this large moth is known as the White Witch.
Large it is, up to 12 inches across.
Two more photos of this moth, and another of the Black Witch,
are in the list below, in the family Erebidae.
(above photo by James Audlin)
The following is from the book
"Butterfly People. An American Encounter
with the Beauty of the World", by William Leach, published in 2013,
comparing moths to butterflies:
"Moths and butterflies both belong to the same order, Lepidoptera. Each undergo a complete metamorphosis and each are with wings covered by scales, shingled one upon another, and stamped with color that contributes to the total "tiled mosaic" of the wing.
Both have a proboscis, or a long, slender, coiled-up tube attached to the head, which the insects uncoil to suck nectar from many kinds of flowers, pollinating as they go. As caterpillars, however, they are much more choosy, with some dependent on only one food plant, others on a few, and still others on many different species of plants.
Both moths and butterflies are cold-blooded, requiring an infusion from the heat of an ambient atmosphere.
But even with their similarities, the differences between moths and butterflies abound.
In the most general terms, the majority of moths have feathery, tapered antennae. These, like radar, guide them through the dark, and the males rely on them to pick up the scent of females.
Butterflies generally have clubbed or hooked antennae, used to smell and track down nectar, and for sexual purposes.
Moths have thick, commonly hairy bodies and large multifaceted, compound eyes and usually inhabit the night, while the majority of butterflies fly by day and have smaller eyes and thinner, relatively hairless bodies.
The classic exception for moths are those belong to the URANIIDAE family. They look like butterflies in nearly every respect and are among the most stunning diurnal lepidoptera in the world."
Our list of moths here begins with those in the Family URANIIDAE.
A List of selected Moths in
Family URANIIDAE, Subfamily URANIINAE: the SCOOPWINGS
URANIIDAE is a widely distributed family in the world.
Worldwide, there are about 700 species in some 90 genera.
About 40 species have been found in Costa Rica.
In the subfamily URANIINAE, in Costa Rica there is only 1 species,
the GREEN URANIA, or "GREEN DUCKTAIL".