Scarlet-bodied Wasp Moth (Cosmosoma myrodora)
The scarlet-bodied wasp moth is part of the Erebidae family of moths. American entomologist Harrison Gray Dyar Jr. first described it in 1907. Their bright colors allow them to mimic wasps effectively, with their bitter taste dissuading predators from attacking them.
They are yellow and have a thick coat of spiky white fur. In the first instar, they are 2.80 mm long and can grow up to 21.61 mm long when fully mature.
In the beginning, the pupae start as white, becoming red and black as they grow older. They are 1.4 cm long, covered with a 2.31 cm transparent yellow cocoon made out of the shed hairs of the larvae. The cocoon protects from parasites, predators, and desiccation.
Sexual Dimorphism: Present
The upper side of the male’s abdomen has two pouches containing fine filaments known as flocculence which the female does not possess.
Color and Appearance
They have red bodies with transparent black wings. Blue, glittering spots can be found on the dorsal side of the abdomen, which ends in a blue tip.
Forewing: When the wings are opened, they are transparent and have black borders, veins, and margins. When the wings are closed, they remain the same.
Hindwing: When the wings are opened and closed, they are similar to the forewings, only smaller.
Average wingspan: 30–35 mm
Flight pattern: Not recorded
Season: March to December
The eggs are white and 0.88 mm in diameter. The female lays individually, who can lay around 75-170 eggs in her lifetime.
|Distribution||Florida, South Carolina, and Texas|
|Predators||Golden orb-web spiders, birds, bats, and lizards|
|Lifespan of Adults||50-60 days|
|Adult Diet||Dog fennel|
Did You Know
- Before mating, adult males collect the toxins present in dog fennel and sprays it on the females as a form of protection.