Hello, First time on your site, and my wife and I love it. Here’s one we can’t find in books, so I guess it’s a space alien…. Thanks for figuring this one out. The picture was taken when my wife lived in Austin, TX. The blue back is more iridescent than the picture shows. All the best to you,
Rick and Jeri
Hi Rick and Jeri,
This is a newly emerged Eyed Tiger Moth or Giant Leopard Moth, Hypercompe scribonia. It is newly metamorphosed and its wings will soon expand.
Update: (12/25/2007) Eyed tiger moth, and others
Sort of a sad story, but Merry Christmas to you anyway. I just wanted to point out (with moths and butterflies) that if something untoward happens to an individual immediately after it emerges from the chrysalis and before its wings expand and dry out (from their wet and crumpled state), I mean if, for example, the creature gets knocked to the ground and cannot immediately find a good vertical surface to crawl up on, then the wings will sometimes dry in the unexpanded state and the creature will be stuck like that, and be unable to fly. Best,
Susan J. Hewitt