Though the Hibiscus Leaf Caterpillar feeds on tropical and hardy hibiscus leaves, little else is known about this species.
The golden brown adult moth may sip nectar from flowers, but its larvae eat the leaves of hibiscus plants, a popular tropical flowering plant. Summers in the northern part of the continent are warm enough for this plant to thrive in a pot, so the moth has a reach that extends beyond the hot and humid southeastern U.S.. The bottoms of the moth's wings are scalloped, with the forewings creating a 'V' shaped cut out where the inner wings would meet. Two small white dots sit above a dark brown midline that crosses the wings. Darker brown smudges appear below the midline.
This moth is commonly seen in parts of Asia and on Pacific islands, where the host plant grows in its ideal climate. Caterpillars may be green, brown, tan, gray, or a shade very close to black. The base of the head is orange, but the face is a lighter brown with dark mottling on it. Yellow stripes line the sides from head to rear. A series of four tiny black dots may be visible on the top of each segment of the body.
Scientific Name: Rusicada privata
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 18mm to 25mm (0.70in to 0.98in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
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.