A bold orange upper half gives way to a silver-gray area on the lower half of this small moth's wings.
The Sooty-winged Chalcoela has a strange name that goes well with its strange coloring. The wings are a combination of orange and gray, which is not common among moths. The bottom parts of the forewings are covered in small white and black specks that give it a gray appearance with a silver sheen. The rest of the wing is a deep orange color. Large, round eyes stick out from both sides of the head. This moth is part of the Snout-nose family, but they do not actually have noses. Labial palps on the head rest together closely enough to look like a nose.
The caterpillar for this moth is a parasitoid that feeds on paper wasp larvae. It even pupates in the wasp's nest. Its diminutive size is an advantage for such a cramped nursery.
Scientific Name: Chalcoela iphitalis
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 8mm to 10mm (0.31in to 0.39in)
Colors: orange; gray; brown; black
Descriptors: green eyes; orange; black; bray; brown; two-toned; two colors; snout nose; flying; silver
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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.