The bold and colorful Scarlet-Bodied Wasp Moth effectively uses warning colors to avoid common moth-eating predators.
Scarlet-Bodied Wasp Moths are members of the Tiger moth family. Like their relatives, they are colorful and brightly patterned. Wingspans can stretch more than 30mm (1.2 inches). Part of the body and its legs look flocked in red. The black head and lower part of the abdomen are covered in glittering blue spots. The rest of the body is red. They are effective mimics of wasps and are distasteful to animals that typically prey on moths, like birds, bats, and lizards.
This species is at home in the warm states of the southeastern region of the U.S.. They prefer coastal areas and are active from late spring through summer. Look for them on or near aster flowers, the preferred feeding plant of the caterpillar, but also on related plants. Caterpillars are yellow-bodied and covered with a thick coat of white spiky fur.
Scientific Name: Cosmosoma myrodora
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 25mm (0.59in 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.