Subject: Pregnant Red Moth, Need Help to Identify
Location: Sanford, Florida
September 8, 2012 8:55 pm
This moth attached itself to my car at the gas station in Sanford, Florida today. It rode home with us and my daughter thought it was pretty so we decided to put it in a jar with some air holes in the top. We added some water in a bottle cap and some sections of a clementine broken apart. The moth flapped around for a few and then stopped up against the side of the jar and started laying eggs. Now we are trying to figure out how long before the eggs hatch and how we can best take care of the mother moth to keep her alive. My daughter wants to take her to school for show and tell on Monday, but if the larvae will crawl out of the airholes and into our home, we will probably just let the moth go. Please help so we can make sure to take the best care of mama moth.
Signature: -Chris Pollice
This is either a Pink Striped Oakworm Moth, Anisota virginiensis, or another member of the same genus. The female will die shortly after laying her eggs. She does not feed as an adult as she has no functioning mouthparts. The caterpillars may hatch as soon as a week and they can be fed the leaves of oaks.