This small moth's colors are bright and refreshing, like pink lemonade on a hot summer day.
The Raspberry Pyrausta is part of the Crambidae family, so it has what appears to be a snout on its face. This 'nose' is actually a pair of hairy labial palps that are held closely together, and they help the moth sense what is edible. The wings are typically flat when it is resting. It is a noticeable shade of pink, almost fuchsia. Two yellow or cream-colored lines cross the forewings: one near the head, the other near the bottom. Both of these lines are wavy and squiggly. The lower line also has a dip in the middle of the wing. The head and thorax of the Raspberry Pyrausta are yellow or brown, and this lighter color melds into the rest of the pink wing. A wide fringe at the bottom edge of the wings is yellowish brown. Big, round eyes sit on the sides of the head. Adults are common across the continent.
Caterpillars for this species feed on horsemint, a type of beebalm that grows in meadows and fields. It is an attractive flower for pollinators, offering nectar to bees and butterflies. This caterpillar is bright pink, like its adult form, with yellow near the head. As it matures, the pink color wears down leaving the larva a creamy yellow with fine, pale yellow lines running down its 'back'.
Scientific Name: Pyrausta signatalis
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 8mm to 11mm (0.31in to 0.43in)
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.