Easy to see in the daytime, the colors of the Mournful Thyris may be gloomy, but its design and flare are anything but sorrowful.
The rich black color on the Mournful Thyris may have something to do with its gloomy name. The Mournful Thyris looks similar to its relative, the Spotted Thryis, but with its larger white spots and a lack of any orange color, the Mournful Thyris should be easy to identify. From a distance, wings look almost worn off thanks to white spots along the edges. A slight curve at the front edge of the forewings make the bottoms of the wings appear to flare out. The abdomen is black with two white bands on the upper half, and a ring of white dots near the tip. Large white spots on the wings resemble white paint spatter. Adults are active from spring through most of summer. Caterpillars feed grapevines and clematis vines; adults drink flower nectar and are sometimes mistaken for butterflies.
Scientific Name: Thryis sepulchralis
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 23mm (0.59in to 0.90in)
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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.