Red, orange, and black Wasp Moths are harmless insects that cleverly mimic a stinging insect that most predators would rather avoid.
A vibrantly colored group of moths, Wasp Moths are easy to mistake for real wasps. These moths mimic the coloring of a wasp to deter predators from trying to eat them. Predators are less likely to attack an insect if it is capable of repetitive stinging. Some Wasp Moths have opaque wings. Others belong to the Clearwing Moth family and at least part of the forewings are transparent, like the wings of a true wasp.
Many of the caterpillars of this type of moth can do substantial damage to orchard trees because they bore into the wood, damaging the tree. Adult Wasp Moths feed on pollen and nectar from flowers.
Scientific Name: Melittia sp.
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 13mm to 45mm (0.51in to 1.76in)
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.