Thursday, July 16, 2009
Tiger Moth in Stedman tonight
Description The Virgin Tiger Moth is a member of the family Arctiidae. The tiger moths are small or medium-sized, with stout, furry bodies and broad wings, spanning 1/2-3 1/8" (12-80 mm). Some are largely white; others are boldly patterned in black and white or yellow; and still others have different colors. Tiger moths are similar in size and shape to owlet moths, but are usually lighter and more brightly colored. They resemble some boldly patterned ctenuchids, but can be distinguished from these and other similar-looking moths mostly through differences in wing venation. They also have a well-developed hearing organ, or tympanum, on each side of the thorax. Many tiger moths contain toxic substances, and their conspicuous patterning serves as a warning to predators. Adults generally do not feed. Eggs are laid in flat masses or loosely scattered over low vegetation. The caterpillars are hairy or bristly and like the adults are boldly marked and toxic. They pupate in loose cocoons made of silk and their own hair.