Delicate Cycnia (Cycnia tenera)
Detailing the identifying qualities of the Delicate Cycnia, including physical features and territorial reach.
Updated: 8/10/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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 they 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.
Males can make a clicking sound to attract females and attempt to throw off predatory bats. Females lay small lavender eggs shaped like pellets under leaves. Caterpillars are covered in long, furry hairs. They are white, or gray, or tan. They eat the foliage of dogbane, milkweed and Indian hemp. Two generations a year can be produced.
Look for a Delicate Cycnia in garden, parks and meadows that harbor host plants. They can also be seen in fields and on roadsides.