Athis inca moth – A Rare Find!

One of my unidentified photos from Arenal just got identified by an authority with and it is another one of those rare finds and mine is the first one ever submitted to butterfliesandmoths. 🙂 Wikipedia says “Athis inca is a moth of the Castniidae family. It is found from Mexico to Costa Rica.” You can see this photo of mine posted on butterfliesandmoths or in my gallery. And to learn more, the website that seemed to have the most information was GBIF (linked). And Project Noah (linked) has several nice photos, including different subspecies. I’m proud of my find and so glad that J. Wiley Rains of BAMONA identified it for me! Costa Rica is just full of “rare finds!” 🙂 And it is wonderful to be “Retired in Costa Rica,” the name of my blog! 🙂

Athis inca Moth, Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails, Costa Rica

On this same trip I also found another semi-rare moth which you can see in my gallery, the Feigeria herilia, an equally interesting and different moth! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Recent Butterflies

Though I’m not seeing as many as last June, the variety of butterflies is slowly expanding in my garden. We got almost no rain in May and now it rains every afternoon, which is normal for rainy season, but if anything different this June it is maybe more rain than last year, which may or may not affect the number of butterflies. And I’m also getting fewer birds. Here’s photos of 5 different species seen in the last week.

Dina Yellow, Atenas, Costa Rica
Continue reading “Recent Butterflies”

Unidentified Moth

Well – – – I think it is a moth! I photographed it in the street in front of my house in the daytime and the color and pattern is similar to one of the Tiger Moths, but not a match! Those colors and patterns are also similar to one of the Netwing Beetles, but still not a match! 🙂 Because one of the antennae is curled, I think it might be in the Dioptinae subfamily of moths, but still did not find a match searching there, so I just sent it to the “I can’t identify” folder at 🙂 If you know what it is, please use the “Contact” form to share your knowledge. Thanks! 🙂

Unidentified Day Moth, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Continue reading “Unidentified Moth”

That “Flying Leaf” is a Moth!

I thought I saw a new kind of butterfly through the kitchen window and ran out with my camera and it was just another Banded Peacock which I’ve had scads of recently. But then I saw a brownish dead leaf fly into some of the plants in my garden (flapping its wings). I had to run get my cellphone to get close enough to it. I was hoping it would be one of the Leafwing Butterflies but now I’m pretty sure it is one of the thousands of moths that look like dead leaves and I haven’t found an ID yet. Here’s the three shots I got before he flew away, all with cellphone . . .

I believe it is probably a small moth, many of which imitate leaves. Leafwing butterflies are shaped differently.
Continue reading “That “Flying Leaf” is a Moth!”

Titan Sphinx Moth

This month is my second time to see one of these in my garden in June 2020 when I did a blog post first titled “Flying Shrimp” and then went back and changed it when someone told me it was a “Hummingbird Moth.” Well, now I’m a little better versed in butterflies and moths and the scientific name is Aellopos titan (link to and the accepted common name Titan Sphinx Moth, though some still call it “Hummingbird Moth.” It is found throughout South and Central America north throughout the eastern half of the United States. It is one of the weirdest looking creatures I’ve seen in my garden. My Titan Sphinx Moth Gallery includes those photos from 2020 as well as this year’s. Interesting! 🙂

Titan Sphinx Moth, Atenas, Costa Rica

And more photos from this year . . .

Continue reading “Titan Sphinx Moth”

Unidentified Moth or Skipper

I have the largest book I can find on butterflies and moths in Costa Rica and yet I continue to find and photograph live specimens not in my books nor can I find on the many websites – a little frustrating for someone who likes to label everything! 🙂 But anyway, here’s my newest unidentified butterfly/moth found in my garden in Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica:

On the outside wall of my house by the garden, Atenas, Costa Rica

Because I expect to be able to identify all my butterfly/moth photos, I’m frustrated:

“Expectation is the mother of all frustration. “

~Antonio Banderas


¡Pura Vida!

All my CR Butterfly/Moth Galleries

Unknown Black Butterfly/Moth

Another new one today! And like those Skippers, I can’t identify with my books or the internet. This one is possibly a moth but not necessarily! 🙂 Since June 24 I’ve been trying to photo a new/different butterfly every day. I missed 3 days, but have posted 10 almost in a row and all 10 different. 🙂 Doesn’t take much to entertain me! 🙂 And that shows the vairety of butterflies in my garden!

Unknown Black or Charcoal Butterfly/Moth

¡Pura Vida!

I’m going to put this one in my Unidentified Moths Gallery, but you will see almost similar in my Unidentified Skippers Gallery and some identified Skipper Galleries. Or peruse all my Costa Rica Butterflies & Moths Gallery.

Butterflies & Moths Monteverde

I saw one really cool and new-to-me moth at Santa Elena Reserve, two butterflies at Selvatura Park and all the rest were at Monteverde Lodge & Gardens where they have a really nice small butterfly garden indoors. There is one dining table for up to 4 people that can be scheduled for a private Butterfly Dinner!   🙂   Kind of neat! And two of the moths I photographed on my little private room terrace/patio.

Selvatura claims to have the largest butterfly garden in Central America and the huge dome looks like it but this trip it was horrible with only two (2) species of butterflies. There is a Monteverde Butterfly Garden operated by a couple of nature lovers but I did not go this time. Three years ago it was great! There were a lot of butterflies, especially blue morpho, flying around in all four reserves, but difficult to photograph there.

Butterflies & Moths

See also my Butterflies & Moths Gallery – a growing collection!


I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.      ~Zhuangzi

¡Pura Vida!

A Sphinx Moth?

One of the Sphinx Moths maybespecific variety not found
La Coope Supermercado Auto Repair Shop
Atenas, Costa Rica

During my first year or so here I was finding new butterflies or moths nearly every week but have not in months if not a year or longer recently. On the last two trips I saw several Banded Peacocks which are kind of common butterflies to me now and nothing else that would land. Both Arenal and Corcovado had several fast-flying butterflies that never landed or slowed down for a photo. That included several Blue Morphos at Corcovado. But this is my first photo in a good while and I cannot positively identify it. If you know, please leave a comment! Or email me. Cell phone shot.

And see my similar photos in gallery  Butterflies & Moths.

¡Pura Vida!

Brush that dead leaf off the counter!

That’s what I did and it just flew away when I touched it. Life in the rainforest is interesting!

“Dead Leaf” Moth or  Lonomia moth
Inside my house, Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica

When you leave your doors open during the day you can find some really interesting creatures around the house! Read about him on Wikipedia.  This one is called Taturana in Spanish. 

See also my BUTTERFLY & MOTH Photo Gallery for more interesting flying creatures!