Species of moth that hasn't been seen since 1912 found at Detroit airport; larvae collected

·1 min read

DETROIT — Customs and Border Protection agents found a species of moth that hasn't been seen in the U.S. since 1912 at Detroit Metro Airport.

In September 2021, CBP agriculture specialists inspected an arriving passenger on a flight from the Philippines, according to a news release. The passenger brought seeds for medicinal tea in their personal baggage, and the specialists found insect exit holes in the seed pods.

After further analysis, the agency found moth larvae and pupae that eventually hatched into “very flashy” moths with raised patches of black bristles, the release said. Experts said this indicates the moths are members of the Pyralidae family.

Moths found at DTW have not been seen in the U.S. since 1912.
Moths found at DTW have not been seen in the U.S. since 1912.

Specialists were not able to discern more specifics about the type of moth, so they sent it to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

More: World's oldest butterfly and moth fossils discovered in 200-million-year-old 'pond scum'

The USDA was able to confirm this was the first encounter of this species of moth since it was first described in 1912. This was also the first time that a larvae or pupae associated with this species had been collected, CBP said.

“This discovery is a testament to their important mission of identifying foreign pests and protecting America’s natural resources," said Port Director Robert Larkin.

What's everyone talking about?: Sign up for our trending newsletter today

Follow Emma Stein on Twitter @_emmastein.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Species of moth that hasn't been seen since 1912 found in Detroit

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting