Tuesday, May 12, 2009


A while ago I posted pictures of woolly black/orange caterpillars. A few weeks ago they stopped eating so I left them be to see if they were preparing to pupate, and when I returned from the cruise, two of them had pupated. Now, a total of four have pupated, one has hatched, and the other two caterpillars simply had not eaten enough to proceed to metamorphosis and died. I was correct in my estimation that they are from family Arctiidae, however the genus was incorrect - I was linking them incorrectly to a much larger larvae. At any rate, here are the pictures. On top we have the pupa, then various angles, and bottommost we can see all the eggs she has been laying. I do not know when she hatched, so she may have hatched a long time ago and due to not mating is now unloading all her unfertilized eggs. Her wings also do not look fully pumped with hemolymph, so it is hard to key as her wings may look different if they were fully inflated. As such, I have only identified her to genus, not species. I will further identify once I have another moth hatched.

Lepidoptera; Noctuoidea; Arctiidae; Arctiinae; Arctiini; Grammia
Common Name: Tiger Moth

There is some speculation that the genus Grammia is named so from the latin "grammus", which means marked, or in reference to the the Grammus mountain range. Both could refer to the markings on the wings, which are rather triangular. The family Arctiidae contains tiger moths, footmen moths, and wasp moths. The subfamily Arctiinae contains tiger moths, which are very common. These moths are primarily nocturnal, and their larvae are the "woollybear" variety. Cocoons are largely made from the body hairs of the larvae. The tiger moths of Grammia have black front wings with red or yellow stripes and the hind wings are usually pinkish with black spots.

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