Clymene Moth

Clymene Moth

Clymene Moth

I always get a little excited when I find something in Nature that I’ve never seen or can’t identify, and this morning was no exception.  We found this moth clinging to the back window of the truck.  I’d never seen one like this before and had no clue what it was, other than the obvious fact that it was a moth.

The striking pattern on its closed wings resembles a dagger or cross.  The photo is a little light; the actual background color of the wings is more cream-colored than white, as it looks here.

We’re still on dial-up here in the woods (they’re working on bringing high speed internet to the boonies-yes!) but I practiced some patience and did other things while I waited for pages to load, searching for this bug.

It’s called a Clymene moth, fairly common in northeastern woodlands.  The caterpillar feeds on a variety of plants, including oaks and willows.  Adults fly during the day as well as night, and at night, are attracted to lights.  That’s  probably how it came to be on the truck, which is parked under the amber colored security light.

With a little more searching I found that Clymene is of Greek origin and means “renowned one.”  In Greek mythology, Clymene was the daughter of Oceanus, and the mother of Atlas and Promethus.   Why this particular moth is called Clymene, I have no idea.  I know there are “Promethea” moths that are black and yellow – so perhaps there is a connection somewhere in either the coloring or the species.

I suppose I’ll spend a little more time exploring that connection, but for now, I’m happy to have found something new (to me).  It jogs me out of my complacency and reminds me that there’s so much more to learn.  Life is good.

33 Responses to “Clymene Moth”

  1. Ronald Gibson Says:

    th
    ank you so much . i found one july the third

  2. suzi Says:

    We found one yesterday on our screened-in front porch. July 16! My daughter immediately saw a cross and called it a Crucifix Moth! So glad I found that it is native to our northeastern woodlands in the Adirondacks. Like you, I get excited when something comes around that I can’t identify. We had a Luna moth here last month. Never had one here before. How exciting…and Monarch season is almost upon us. Yes, Life IS good!!

  3. Derek Says:

    I’ve spent 9 years practicing pest management in central Illinois. One of my friends posted her find, the first clymene moth here in this part of the world, and I was elated! yes, I too find it amazingly exciting when I see something new for the first time in my life, from mother nature! What a gorgeous job on the crusader moth. Love the insect

  4. Alberta Says:

    We found this unusual moth on our screen door this morning. My husband and I thought this must mean some kind of good luck will come our way because it had a cross on it’s back. We couldn’t stop looking at it. I checked this site and found out it was a Clymene Moth. We’ve lived in Connecticut all our lives and have never seen this type of moth. How exciting!

  5. artemis133 Says:

    I found one of these moths today near my house-never have seen that kind before so I had to go searching around the internet to find out what it was. So beautiful!

  6. Donna Says:

    We found one on our new lakehouse last weekend in Snow Lake Shores, MS (near Holly Springs). Beautiful! I’ve never seen one before. Absolutely beautiful! Good job God!

  7. Karen Byington Says:

    We found this moth also in May of 2008. I took a really great picture of it. It is more defined and you can actually see what looks to be the body of Christ on the Cross. I would like to know more about these Moths. Check out my photo on my Facebook page. Karen Byington Wiley Dew
    I will never forget this Moth. So special to see that God is in the details.
    Sincerely,
    Karen & Wiley Dew

  8. Annabel Abram Says:

    Living in Scotland, we do not have these moths. Seeing pictures of these beautiful creatures, particularly during Holy Week is ulltra-special. Thank you for a great thread where I was able to identify Karen’s moth with such ease.

  9. James Gaddy Says:

    Joyy Gaddy Saw this moth for the first time in Thomasville; alabama on August 1; 2012. Beautiful.

  10. Beverly Says:

    A friend of mine found one in Jasper, Alabama on July 31, 2012 and took a picture of it and sent to me. Four days later, on August 4, 2012 at 12:02 am, my daughter who lives in Anniston, Alabama sent me a picture of one that had landed on her house near the patio light. Both were so beautiful and a sign that God is always nearby.

  11. joe burns Says:

    I found one today, August 10, 2012, on the campus at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I have taught “entomology for teachers” courses off and on for a number of years and am more or less attuned to insects. I suspected that it was in the Arctiidae family, but have never seen this variety until today. The cool thing for me is that one of my assignments for my fall semester class of elementary education majors is to have my students document the flora and fauna on their school grounds. I am doing likewise for the immediate environment around my building at UAB as a way to model the process and this is such a nice addition to my wiki.

  12. Max Blalock Says:

    We have one on our window of an office condo complex today, 8/10/2012. Looks like a Knight crusader guarding the front window!! Absolutely beautiful! Hoover, Alabama

  13. Ellen Eve Says:

    We were volunteering at Vacation Bible School this week and today when I was tidying up our campsite I found this moth. I thought someone had dropped a pretty pin or jewelry. All the kids came over to see it and we had to momentarily stop the VBS program. By the way our program was about knights and Kingdom Rock. I really did feel closer to God at that moment and now I’m going to sketch it. 6-19-13
    Cumming Ga

    • Darleen Brown Says:

      Found one of these in my mother’s yard.  We had never seen one before.  Thank’s for letting us know what it is called and some of the history.  We thought it was beautiful.  Had a luna moth in July in my yard.  Second one in three years. 

      • Darleen Brown Says:

        Sorry, forgot to tell you where we are located. Meadville, PA 30 miles south of Lake Erie, PA

  14. Jeannie Reynolds Says:

    We saw the Clymene moth about a week ago in Southwest AR at Grassy Lake. This was the first one I had ever seen. It is so beautiful!

  15. Tina Doherty Says:

    We found one one our porch and was amazed by it’s beauty! Logan, Ohio

  16. Kat Says:

    I found one in my bathroom, but the “arms” were straighter. I’m in southwestern Kentucky.

  17. Lois Bartlett Says:

    Saw 2 in Bedford Indiana. Beautiful! Looks like Jesus with His arms open wide!

  18. Matilde Glyman Says:

    Saw one yesterday, first time in my 56 years, and I have lived in 5 northeastern dates and FL
    Littleton, MA

  19. Matilde Glyman Says:

    Saw one yesterday, first time in my 56 years, and I have lived in 5 northeastern states and FL
    Littleton, MA

  20. Jillian Says:

    I live in Western PA, north of Pittsburgh and saw one of these for the first time in my 74 years. It was on the side storm door.

  21. 2 More Visitors | Reflections for my Soul Says:

    […]  UPDATE 8/4/14……I posted this pic on Instagram and I was advised that this moth is called a Clymene.  I also found another WP post about it here. […]

  22. Berta Blanco Says:

    Lake Lackawanna, Byram, New Jersey. Sussex County NE of the State.

    I found one on August 15, 2014 (Assumption of Mary); in my front yard.
    Took a photo.

  23. G. E. Dortch Says:

    I saw ours on our front porch, so unusual, but truly felt like God had sent it to be with me. Absolutely the most beautiful bug, because of the cross, I’ve ever seen! I would have loved to have shown it off with a pic!

  24. Barbara Says:

    My daughter went to check progress on our new house in Youngsville, NC and snapped a picture of this beautiful moth on the unfinished floor. I feel blessed!

  25. Siva Says:

    Special reminder of Jesus Christ our Lord. We found this beautiful moth on our front porch 2 weeks back. May be signs of times (2nd coming)

  26. missy martin Says:

    found this beautiful moth today, August 11, 2015. looked kinda like some kind of shavings. beautiful. interesting reading all the comments! God is good.

  27. Kathy Kiesow Says:

    For 2 years in a row now, this moth has appeared on our porch.At first I thought it was a piece of paper, until my eyes came into focus, and leaning down, I realized this beautiful creature was a moth.God is so good and creative. He is our sword and shield.

  28. sharon Says:

    I saw this moth in August 2015 on my church door, as I was cleaning the window.. Never saw this moth before and to find it on the door to our church was just awesome and God sent.. God is good all the time, all the time God is Good! Unionville, Pa. 25 miles north of Pittsburgh.

  29. Brenda Says:

    I just found one of these beautiful moth on my steps this morning. I was so excited. I did capture the moth, I wanted to keep it. But, I felt guilty of keeping alive Jesus moth and soon it would die. So I took it back outside and let it go. The reason is I know Jesus lives. So I wanted the moth to live as well. I prayed to God the moment I set it free, let me live and fly as high as the moth in your kingdom. Be bless everyone. I feel bless.

    • Karin Says:

      July 30, 2016, just found one on my front door near Ft Dix, NJ. Beautiful!! Never saw one before. It’s been hanging out there all morning.


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