(07/18/2005) Caterpillars Metamorphose into Faithful Beauty

Psychedelic caterpillars
Hello again. These life jacket orange with metallic blue dots and two long white hairs near the head caterpillars are decimating my stephanotis vine. The pupae are shiny brown and have strands of silk holding them on the leaves. I live in West Palm Beach Florida. Can you identify them?

Ed. Note: Caterpillars are often difficult to identify, and sadly, we weren’t much help to Enid, but as the following response shows, the caterpillars metamorphosed into a stunning little moth.

(07/19/2005) The psychedelic caterpillar becomes moth
Hello there. Remember the life jacket orange and metallic blue caterpillars? Well, this is what they become and it is called a faithful beauty and they are rare for West Palm Beach. Regards.

Hi Enid,
Your caterpillar photo was on our back burner, but we couldn’t really identify. Your Moth has a wonderful common name, Faithful Beauty, and the scientific name is Composia fidelissima. It is mostly tropical but does stray into South Florida. Perhaps last year’s hurricanes blew a few moths off course and they liked the climate. Thanks so much for the update.

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