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Awesome critter: the Oleander moth

Community and ForumBlogAwesome critter: the Oleander moth

Lev Bely, 04.04.2012 22:06

This moth of Arctiidae family is that very camel designed by a committee. The Polka-Dot Wasp moth (Syntomeida epilais) plays a wasp and has a quite vividly colored getup: its body and wings are iridescent blue-green; legs, wings and antennae are white-spotted; the abdomen ends with a red or orange tip. Then, this “designed” moth is awake in the daytime not at night. However, its concerns are as much routine as ones other usually have: it flaps its wings (the wingspan is about 2 inches), feeds on nectar, habits northern South America, Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Florida.

One more curious thing about this Arctiidae moth is that its females don't use pheromones to attract males but an ultrasonic signal that males catch miles apart. A fresh couple arranges a true acoustic duet when they sing together till the very dawn. Perhaps, Puccini's “Madame Butterfly” or whatever nice of the kind.

Oleander moth caterpillar is about 1.5 inches long, colored orange and has black hairs due those it was named Arctiidae. Some caterpillars of the subfamily arctiid are so hairy that they are called “woolly bears”. People on the North predict how cold will be the coming winter by the caterpillar body color. Such a Punxsutawney Phil groundhog moth.

S. epilais moths are deemed as pests since its caterpillars consume oleander, heavily and solely. Curious that caterpillars began eating this poisonous “forbidden fruit” once as the Spanish brought oleander to the New World in the 17th century. As caterpillars get poisonous too, birds ignore them; not stink bugs though which as against are quite satisfied with caterpillars. Well, as they say, one man's meat is another man's poison. Take care, groundhog moth!

The News-Press, http://www.news-press.com

Photo: The Jacksonville Shell Club, http://www.jaxshells.org

The Polka-Dot Wasp moth

All the rest posts on: curiosity, USA


05.04.2012 13:54, Peter Khramov

We might already think about adding a special video gallery for illustrating awesome critters!

05.04.2012 21:01, Igor Sakhno

As for video, that would be wonderful!

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