Archive

Moths

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

Native hosts include Dogfennel, Pillpod Sandmat and other potentially aggressive species such as the Bidens alba shown in the photo.

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.

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: Bidens alba

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

Tiny little diurnal moth.

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 a non-native Buttonweed (Spermacoce verticillata)  out by the culvert

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

My take on Moths: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/meet-the-moths-its-national-moth-week-2013/

Take II:  https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/a-dozen-diurnal-moths/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Bagworm Moth Caterpillar/Pupa likely Abbot’s Bagworm Moth (Oiketicus abbotii)

bagworms are merely moth caterpillars dress in twigs or other plant materials.  II think this one is in the pupal stage.

Learn: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/Creatures/MISC/MOTHS/bagworm.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/its-in-the-bagin-the-garden/

Take 2: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/barbecued-bagworm-moths/

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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: Assembly Moth (Samea ecclesialis)

a diurnal moth. Tends to land on the underside of leaves..

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

Learn: https://bugguide.net/node/view/74202

a.k.a. stained glass moth

Larval host: “larvae have been raised on Richardia brasiliensis” commonly known as Tropical Mexican clover which is not native in the State of Florida.

Learn: https://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/MISC/MOTHS/stained-glass_moth.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant:   BLACKBERRY (Rubus spp.)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Io Moth (Automeris io)

This beauty was resting on the kitchen door at night.

Adults do not feed

Larval host: multiple plants, “A variety of plants including hackberry (Celtis), willow (Salix), mesquite (Prosopis), redbud (Cercis), currant (Ribes), blackberry (Rubus), and pear (Pyrus)”

Learn/Range: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Automeris-io

Eyespots are HUGE on the underwings.

Learn: entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/io_moth.htm

Caterpillars are of the “stinging” type:  https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/io-moth-caterpillars-automeris-io/

Io Moth (Automeris io)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Ornate Bella Moth (Utetheisa ornatrix)

a diurnal moth.

Learn: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/leps/bella_moth.htm

Larval host: (Crotalaria spp.) which in my yard is the Florida native RABBITBELLS (C. rotundifolia)

Caterpillar: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/ornate-bella-moth-caterpillar-utetheisa-ornatrix/

Shown on Florida Native Plant: TICKSEED (Coreopsis sp.)

My take: Whats in a day?

https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/03/12/whats-in-a-day/

Take 2: Half Hidden Beauty in the Garden

https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2019/05/30/half-hidden-beauty-in-the-garden/

Take 3 is about the caterpillar: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/04/29/we-dont-all-eat-leaves-you-know/

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