Polka Dot Wasp Moths are common to tropical climates and make their North American home in the Southeastern United States, appearing year-round in locales such as Florida.
Though they take on the appearance - and in some cases behavior - of a wasp, the Polka Dot Wasp Moth is only a "wasp" in name. It utilizes this act of mimicry to put off potential predators who are familiar with the wasp's sting. The Polka Dot Wasp Moth is a day-flier.
The Oleander Caterpillar is the Polka Dot Wasp Moth in the larvae stage. These larvae are noted for their defoliation of the poisonous oleander plant common to Florida. Oleander Caterpillars are a bright orange with black hairs and congregate in quantity on oleander leaves.
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Common name: Polka Dot Wasp Moth
Scientific Name: Syntomeida epilais
Identifying Colors: red; white; blue; black
North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Florida; Alabama; Mississippi; Texas; South Carolina; Georgia
* Insects are not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.Text ©2005-2014 www.InsectIdentification.org • All Rights Reserved • No Reproduction Permitted