Moths in Hawaii

Hawaii has several unique moths, most of them belonging to the Noctuidae and Erebidae families.  Of the few that need special mention, Blackburn’s sphinx moth is one of them, known to be one of the largest insects found in Hawaii, also listed as endangered.

The Black Witch Moth, one of the biggest moths in Hawaii, has its association with death. However, the Hawaiians considered it a representation of a loved one’s soul coming to bid goodbye upon its appearance after the immediate passing away of kin. The hummingbird hawk moth, another beauty, is indeed hard to spot, as it flies at top speed even before one could lay their eyes on them.

Noted entomologist Akito Kawahara and his team researched several new moth species, like the  Philodoria obamaorum named to honor Barrack and Michelle Obama, and Philodoria auromagnifica noted because of its feathery bristles and glittering scales.

Large Moths: Black Witch Moth, Blackburn’s Sphinx Moth, White-lined Sphinx Moth

Common Moths: Black Witch Moth

Here is the list of moths found in Hawaii arranged in order of the family they belong.

Geometer Moths

  • Kiawe Moth (Anacamptodes fragilaria)
  • Dot-lined Angle Moth (Macaria abydata)
  • Somber Carpet Moth (Disclisioprocta stellata)
  • Double-striped Pug Moth (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata)
  • Dwarf Tawny Wave Moth (Cyclophora nanaria)

Tiger Moths

  • Heliotrope Moth (Utetheisa pulchelloides)

Owlet Moths

  • Lantana Moth (Diastema tigris)
  • Cotton Looper Moth (Anomis flava)
  • Alfalfa Looper Moth (Autographa californica)
  • Celery Looper Moth (Anagrapha falcifera)
  • Green Garden Looper Moth (Chrysodeixis eriosoma)
  • Bilobed Looper Moth (Megalographa biloba)
  • Common Fruit-piercing Moth (Eudocima phalonia)
  • Catabena Moth (Neogalea sunia)
  • Eight-spot Moth (Amyna axis)
  • Ilima Moth (Amyna natalis)
  • Mango Shoot Borer Moth (Penicillaria jocosatrix)
  • Clover Cutworm Moth (Hadula trifolii)
  • True Armyworm Moth (Mythimna unipuncta)
  • African Armyworm Moth (Spodoptera exempta)
  • Beet Armyworm Moth (Spodoptera exigua)
  • Tobacco Cutworm Moth (Spodoptera litura)
  • Lawn Armyworm Moth (Spodoptera mauritia)
  • Oriental Tobacco Budworm Moth (Helicoverpa assulta)
  • Hawaiian Bud Moth (Helicoverpa hawaiiensis)
  • Minute Noctuid Moth (Helicoverpa minuta)
  • Corn Earworm Moth (Helicoverpa zea)
  • Poke Noctuid Moth (Agrotis crinigera)
  • Lesser Native Cutworm Moth (Agrotis dislocate)
  • Midway Noctuid Moth (Agrotis fasciata)
  • Dark Sword-grass Moth (Agrotis ipsilon)
  • Kerr’s Noctuid Moth (Agrotis kerri)
  • Light-loving Noctuid Moth (Agrotis photophila)
  • Sugarcane Midget Moth (Elaphria nucicolora)

Erebidae Moths

  • Banner Moth (Eublemma anachoresis)
  • Black Witch Moth (Ascalapha odorata)
  • Castor Semi-looper Moth (Achaea janata)
  • Semi-looper Moth (Trigonodes hyppasia)
  • Indomitable Melipotis (Melipotis indomita)
  • Guava Moth (Ophiusa disjungens)
  • Poinciana Looper Moth (Pericyma cruegeri)
  • Lantana Defoliator (Hypena laceratalis)
  • Laysan Dropseed Noctuid Moth (Hypena laysanensis)
  • Hilo Noctuid Moth (Hypena newelli)
  • Lovegrass Noctuid Moth (Hypena plagiota)
  • Kaholuamano Noctuid Moth (Hypena senicula)
  • Yellow-tail Moth (Sphrageidus similis)
  • Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar)
  • White-marked Tussock Moth (Orgyia leucostigma)

Saturniidae Moths

  • Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia)
  • Ceanothus Silkmoth (Hyalophora euryalus)
  • Ailanthus Silkmoth (Samia cynthia)
  • Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus)

Clearwing Moths

  • African Vine Borer Moth (Melittia Oedipus)
  • Raspberry Crown Borer Moth (Pennisetia marginata)
  • Strawberry Crown Moth (Synanthedon bibionipennis)
  • Peachtree Borer Moth (Synanthedon exitiosa)

Hawk Moths

  • Pink-spotted Hawkmoth (Agrius cingulata)
  • Oleander Hawkmoth (Daphnis neri)
  • White-brow Hawkmoth (Gnathothlibus erotus)
  • Pale Striated Hawkmoth (Hippotion boerhaviae)
  • Swinhoe’s Striated Hawkmoth (Hippotion rosetta)
  • Hawaiian Sphinx Moth (Hyles calida)
  • White-lined Sphinx Moth (Hyles lineata)
  • Perkin’s Sphinx Moth (Hyles perkinsi)
  • Hawaiian Tomato Hornworm Moth (Manduca blackburni)
  • Five-spotted Hawkmoth (Manduca quinquemaculata)
  • Plain Gray Hawkmoth (Psilogramma increta)
  • Fabulous Green Sphinx Moth (Tinostoma smaragditis)
  • Hummingbird hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum)
  • Tiny Hawkmoth (Sphingonaepiopsis pumilio)

Castniid Moths

Banana Stem Borer Moth (Telchin licus)

Tuft Moths

  • Egyptian Stemborer Moth (Earias insulana)

Lappet Moths

  • Lackey Moth (Malacosoma Neustria)

Clothes Moths

  • Common Clothes Moth (Tineola bisselliella)
  • Brown-dotted Clothes Moth (Niditinea fuscella)
  • Pale-backed Clothes Moth (Monopis crocicapitella)
  • Blotched Monopis Moth (Monopis meliorella)
  • Case-bearing Clothes Moth (Tinea pellionella)
  • Dancing Moth (Dryadaula terpsichorella)
  • Erechthias Clothes Moth (Erechthias minuscule)

Snout Moths

  • Indianmeal Moth (Plodia interpunctella)
  • North American Cactus Moth (Melitara dentate)
  • Honeydew Moth (Cryptoblabes gnidiella)
  • Stored Nut Moth (Paralipsa gularis)
  • Gorse Colonial Hard shoot Moth (Pempelia genistella)
  • Lantana Leaftier Moth (Salbia haemorrhoidalis)
  • Pear Fruit Borer Moth (Pempelia heringii)
  • Greater Wax Moth (Galleria mellonella)
  • Dusky Raisin Moth (Ephestiodes gilvescentella)
  • Mediterranean Flour Moth (Ephestia kuehniella)
  • Gorse Colonial Hard Shoot Moth (Pempelia genistella)
  • Cacao Moth (Ephestia elutella)

Crambid Snout Moths

  • Asiatic Rice Borer Moth (Chilo suppressalis)
  • Durian Fruit Borer Moth (Conogethes punctiferalis)
  • Necklace Veneer Moth (Euchromius ocellea)
  • Grass Webworm Moth (Herpetogramma licarsisalis)
  • Rush Veneer Moth (Nomophila noctuella)
  • Coconut Leafroller (Omiodes blackburni)
  • Hawaiian Grass Leafroller (Omiodes demaratalis)
  • Hawaiian Bean Leafroller (Omiodes monogona)

Twirler Moths

  • Peach Twig Borer Moth (Anarsia lineatella)
  • Wanstead Grey Moth (Anarsia spartiella)
  • Autosticha Gelechid Moth (Autosticha pelodes)
  • Alfalfa Leaf Tier Moth (Dichomeris acuminate)
  • Tomato Pinworm Moth (Keiferia lycopersicella)
  • Pink Bollworm Moth (Pectinophora gossypiella)
  • Potato Tuber Moth (Phthorimaea operculella)
  • Angoumois Grain Moth (Sitotroga cerealella)

Tortrix Moths

  • Cotton Tipworm Moth (Crocidosema plebejana)
  • Lantana Flower-cluster Moth (Crocidosema lantana)
  • Litchi Fruit Moth (Cryptophlebia ombrodelta)
  • Bayberry Leaftier Moth (Strepsicrates smithiana)
  • Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana)
  • Greenheaded Leafroller Moth (Planotortrix excessana)

Gracillariidae Moths

  • Philodoria auromagnifica

Bagworm Moths

  • Grass Bagworm Moth (Brachycyttarus griseus)