CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Coffee-loving Pyrausta Moth Caterpillar (Pyrausta tyralis)

I can officially confirm that this is P. tyralis.  How do I know?  I reared one that was a little older in a container.  Best part is that it was reared using the plant I found it on which was BIDENS ALBA!!!!!!!!!

Small diurnal moth (flies during the day)


native larval hosts:

(a) Bidens alba (source:  personal observation)

(b) WILD COFFEE (Psychotria nervosa)

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

Adult from 2016:


on Bidens alba



CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Green Lacewing Debris-Carrying Larvae (Family Chrysopidae)

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

It must be lacewing week at my place.  Found lots of larvae cleaning up the stems and leaves and flowers of various plants including Bidens alba, Dogfennel and Fleabane and grasses.

larval and adults are beneficial predators of other insects, especially aphids.

You can really see the pinchers in this photo on a grass

see eggs from prior year:


looks like a tiny bird dropping on a fleabane leaf

This one on Dogfennel was munching on ants. they cover themselves with the carcasses of the insects they eat.

My take:


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:  Black-dotted Spragueia Moth (Spragueia onagrus)

Tiny little thing.

Larval hosts as listed in the HOSTS database are: Baccharis halimifolia, Castanea pumila, Zea mays (

In my yard that would be the Baccharis Halimifolia aka Groundselbush or Saltbush.


Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

Superfamily Noctuoidea – Owlet Moths and kin
Family Noctuidae – Owlet Moths
Subfamily Acontiinae – Bird Dropping Moths
Tribe Acontiini



CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Salvinia Stem-borer (Samea multiplicalis) (correction of initial posting)

Larval host:  “Generalist feeder first observed on waterhyacinth in Brazil. Used as biological control on several invasive species. Commonly feeds on waterlettuce (Pistia stratiotes), Salvinia, water fern (Azolla caroliniana), and duckweed (Lemna sp)”


Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

Superfamily Pyraloidea – Pyralid and Crambid Snout Moths
Family Crambidae – Crambid Snout Moths
Subfamily Spilomelinae



CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: White Checkered-Skipper Butterfly Caterpillar (Pyrgus albescens)

I’d been watching this caterpillar for a few days.  They roll in leaves during the day and I was surprised to find it rolled in a Bidens alba leaf.  It had nipped off a bud from its larval host and then secreted itself making its tent out of the bidens which was growing within the Sida.


Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Pants (Malvaceae)—Cuban Jute (Sida rhombifolia) and Common Fanpetals (Sida acuta) [source:


Special thanks to @AndyBugGuy a.k.a. Andrew D. Warren, Ph.D. for the correct identification.

Earlier instars shown on Florida Native Plant:  CUBAN JUTE; INDIAN HEMP (Sida rhombifolia):



Photos of adult from 2013: