The Delicate Cycnia is also known as the Dogbane Tiger Moth, an ethereal gold and white moth with the uncommon ability to audibly communicate.
Delicate Cycnias are a bright white with yellow on their head and on the edges on their wings. The white and yellow furry abdomen has 7 black dots on the dorsal side (back). More black dots line the lower side of the abdomen and pair up on the ventral side (belly). They are part of the Tiger Moth family, which sports some of the brightest and boldest moths in North America. Look for a Delicate Cycnia in garden, parks and meadows that harbor host plants. They can also be seen in fields and on roadsides.
Males can make a clicking sound to both attract females and attempt to throw off predatory bats. This skill is unusual for a moth. Females lay small lavender-colored eggs shaped like pellets under leaves. Caterpillars are covered in long, furry hairs. At any given age, they may be white, gray, or tan. They eat the foliage of dogbane, milkweed and Indian hemp. Two generations a year can be produced.
Scientific Name: Cycnia tenera
Other Name(s): Dogbane Tiger Moth
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 25mm to 40mm (0.98in to 1.56in)
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Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.