Red butt bug….
Location: Mount Dora, Florida
August 30, 2011 7:10 am
Hey Bugman-Please solve this mystery for us. We finally captured this guy and got photos this weekend. We have several insect books for Florida, but have been unable to identify this gorgeous critter. He hangs out in my butterfly garden and seems to like the same plants as the butterflies do. He is not aggressive. We have been going crazy the past seven years trying to identify this insect. Please help…thanks.
Signature: Monique & Chuck
Dear Monique & Chuck,
What took you so long to write to us? We have been available on the internet at a different location since late 1998 and at our current URL since 2002. This is a Polka-Dot Wasp Moth, Syntomeida epilais, a species that is a very effective harmless mimic of a stinging insect.
THANK YOU so much for your response and solving this mystery for us…and to think I don’t have oleanders in my garden because of my past experience with those “awful” defoliating caterpillars…they turn into this beautiful insect!! I have plenty of other plants to accomodate various species of butterfly larva and don’t seem to mind that they are summarily defoliated…I think it’s time for an oleander in my garden. I want more of these ‘artistically painted’ insects. You have made our day. We are so glad to have discovered your website and didn’t write earlier because we were unable to actually capture one of these…as we were afraid they were a stinging insect and I am highly allergic to stings of all kinds….and, yes, his “very effective mimic of a stinging insect” worked on us. (We did release him when his photo session was over.)
Thanks again…we will be making a donation to your site for you to be able to continue to do your work. Monique & Chuck