Ornate Bella Moth

The most common name for this moth (Utetheisa ornatrix) seems to be the ornate bella moth, but my favorite is “rattlebox moth”. Apparently there’s a whole family of plants (Crotalaria) which produce seed pods that rattle if shaken, and this little moth loves to eat them. Crotalaria contain alkaloids which make the moths, and their…

Black-Winged Dahana

The black-winged dahana, Dahana atripennis, is an inch-long, primarily black moth with a red abdomen, orange head, iridescent blue thorax, and two yellow stripes on its black wings. As far as I can tell from photos on bugguide.net, both sexes have those long, attractive, black feathered antennae (or all photos on bigguide.net are of males!)….

Saltmarsh Moth Caterpillar

This little fellow is (very probably) a Saltmarsh Moth caterpillar (Estigmene acrea), but again this is one of those “identifications” wherein this could also be any one of a number of closely related species. Below, an earlier instar salt marsh moth caterpillar does an amazing yoga pose: The just-hatched caterpillars are mostly yellow, with little…