August 20, 2009
Found this moth in house. Red body and legs, black tail with light blue dots.
Thank you Jeanette
Most people who write in requesting and identification of a Scarlet Bodied Wasp Moth, Cosmosoma myrodora, don’t realize it is a moth because it is such a convincing wasp mimic. According to BugGuide: “These moths display warning coloration, yet the caterpillars host on non-toxic Climbing Hempweed, Mikania scandens, (family Asteraceae), a weedy vine at field margins and roadsides that can completely obscure bushes and small trees. The adult male moth extracts toxins known as “pyrrolizidine alkaloids” from Dogfennel Eupatorium (Eupatorium capillifolium) and showers these toxins over the female prior to mating. This is the only insect known to transfer a chemical defense in this way.“