Archive

Moths

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)

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/26387

native larval hosts:

(a) Bidens alba (source:  personal observation)

(b) WILD COFFEE (Psychotria nervosa)
(source: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/our-science/data/hostplants/search/list.dsml?searchPageURL=index.dsml&Familyqtype=starts+with&Family=&PFamilyqtype=starts+with&PFamily=&Genusqtype=starts+with&Genus=Pyrausta&PGenusqtype=starts+with&PGenus=&Speciesqtype=starts+with&Species=tyralis&PSpeciesqtype=starts+with&PSpecies=&Country=&sort=Family)

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

Adult from 2016:

coffeemothaug2016

on Bidens alba

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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 (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/research/projects/hostplants/search/index.dsml)

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

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/7391

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

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

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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)”

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/8154

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

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

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:  Tersa Sphinx Moth (Xylophanes tersa)
larval hosts:  Madder Family, Rubiaceae, including Smooth buttonplant (Spermacoce glabra), Borreria, Manettia; and Bignoniaceae: Catalpa. Also noted, in North Carolina, from Virginia Buttonweed (Diodia virginiana) also in the Rubiaceae.  Non-native starclusters (Pentas spp.)
 
Caterpillar from 2008:

The caterpillars have large eyespots which make them look adorably inquisitive

Transitioning into pupae

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Yellow-collared Scape Moth (Cisseps fulvicollis)

scapemothmistflowerjan2017

A member of the tiger moth tribe.

Host plants: grasses, lichens, and spike-rushes (Eleocharis spp.). (SOURCE: http://bugguide.net/node/view/447)

Learn: http://pnwmoths.biol.wwu.edu/browse/family-erebidae/subfamily-arctiinae/tribe-arctiini/cisseps/cisseps-fulvicollis/

Shown on Florida Native Plant:  BLUE MISTFLOWER (Conoclinium coelestinum)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Salt Marsh Moth Caterpillar (Estigmene acrea)

saltmarshcaterpillarspiderwortnov2016Native hosts include Dogfennel and other potentially aggressive species.

Serves as a host for other species such as tachinid flies and Hymenopterans (Bees, Wasps and Sawflies) which parasitized the eggs/larvae.

Larvae feed on a variety of plants including “cash crops”, so not a favorite with farmers.

This is an early instar.

Coloring can be highly variable: http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=8131

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/3242

Learn more: http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/leaf/saltmarsh_caterpillar.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant: BLUEJACKET; OHIO SPIDERWORT (Tradescantia ohiensis)

I think it has the cutest face.

I think it has the cutest face.

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