Spotted black/blue insect with a red bottom
November 7, 2011 11:36 pm
Hello, my brother and I found this bug the other day. We took a picture of it because we thought it looked pretty. I’m still wondering what species it is. My friend told me that it was a solitary wasp of some kind, but he isn’t sure.
If it helps, there were some caterpillars hanging around our front yard, and my brother guessed it came from those. The caterpillars looked orange and fuzzy, and they were in a big group. Also, it could barely fly. I don’t know if it was just that one insect that had the problem, though. We haven’t seen any more of them around.
This is a Polka-Dot Wasp Moth, Syntomeida epilais, and you were astute to draw the connection between it and the orange caterpillars that are most likely feeding on oleander. Your friend is not alone in mistaking this moth for a wasp. It is believe that the harmless moth has evolved to mimic a stinging wasp for protection.