Archive

Moths

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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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Groundsel Plume Moth (Hellinsia balanotes)

plumemothnov2016

a.k.a groundsel stemboring moth; Baccharis Borer Plume Moth

Large by plume moth standards.  Larvae bore into stems.

Introduced into Australia to control B. halimifolia which is an invasive species on that continent.

My encounter was submitted and accepted to add this species to the Osceola county Florida checklist at butterfliesandmoths.org http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/sighting_details/1109044

larval hosts: Groundsel Bush (Baccharis halimifolia), Great-Plains Falsewillow (Baccharis neglecta), Saltwater Falsewillow (Baccharis angustifolia)

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/57435

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Polka-dot Wasp Moth (Syntomeida epilais)

polkadotwaspmothsaltbushnov2016
I wasn’t close enough to get a clear shot. See below for one from 2010

Does not sting. Wasp mimic. Adults pollinate. Flies during the day

Larval hosts: Florida native: DEVIL’S POTATO; RUBBERVINE (Echites umbellatus) (limited to coast of southern Florida); Exotic: Oleander which has expanded it range throughout the U.S.

Learn: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Syntomeida-epilais

Learn more: http://beautifulnativeplants.blogspot.com/2016/02/an-exception-to-rules.html

Above Shown on nectaring on Florida Native Plant: GROUNDSEL TREE; SEA MYRTLE (Baccharis halimifolia)

From 2010 on Bidens alba

From 2010 on Bidens alba

Caterpillars on Exotic Oleander (2010)

Caterpillars on Exotic Oleander (2010)

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:  Adjutant Wainscot Moth (Leucania adjuta)
wainscotmothnov2016
larval hosts: Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass) an introduced perennial. source: Natural History Museum, London
New to my buggy life list. My encounter was submitted and accepted to add this species to the Osceola county Florida checklist at http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/sighting_details/1108715
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