The Red-Shouldered Ctenucha Moth lives on the West Coast where is enjoys life in the sun and an all-natural diet of flowers and grasses.
Bold colors on the Red-Shouldered Ctenucha Moth mimic that of wasps. This helps it avoid predators. The blue-black body offsets the bright orange-red hairs on the thorax ('shoulders') and head. Its black wings are tipped with a thin line of white at the bottom edges. This species of moth is only found in the low-elevations of the western U.S..
Adults feed on flowers, but the caterpillars feed on grasses. The caterpillar is black with bits of white and a brown head and rear. Tufts of light gray hairs cover the body and when it prepares to pupate, it encases itself in a 'cage' of hairs. Often seen during the day, this species is active from the beginning of summer to the beginning of autumn. Look for it in the coastal grasses and adjacent meadows and marshes.
Scientific Name: Ctenucha rubroscapus
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 20mm (0.59in to 0.78in)
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.