Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Virginia Ctenuchid, Diurnal Moth.

photo by Olivia Scott

The Virginia Ctenuchid (Ctenucha virginica) is a diurnal moth, a vigorous pollinator, and a welcome visitor to wild and cultivated flowers.  Often mistaken for a butterfly, this member of the Arctiidae family is active both day and night.  With a wingspan of 2 inches, an iridescent blue body and wing color varying from black to smoky brown.  The head is red-orange with black feathery antennae.


  The species is endemic to Eastern North America, and undergoes complete metamorphosis from May through August.  The caterpillar feeds mainly on grasses, while the adult on nectar, mostly during daylight.  

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