Subject: Texas moth
Location: Rio Medina, Texas
February 28, 2013 5:36 pm
I live 8 miles from San Antonio, Texas in Rio Medina… I searched this moth I saw today & never did see or find it online. Do you know what the name of this moth is?
Thanks from South Central Texas
Signature: Richard Z
This is a Calleta Silkmoth, Eupackardia calleta, and BugGuide has a very thorough information page on this desert species that has been reported from Arizona and Texas, though it ranges into Central America. Your individual appears to have misshapen wings, or perhaps it has just eclosed and the wings haven’t yet fully expanded. BugGuide provides this information on the life cycle: “males are diurnal, females nocturnal. Possible mimics of toxic Pipevine Swallowtales [sic] Battus philenor(1)
Adults usually emerge in the late afternoon thru evening
Females call males in the early morning between 7:00am-Noon (mating occurs at this time)
Female moths take flight after sunset and immediately begin laying eggs the same day
Eggs are often deposited in rows or small groups on both surfaces of host plant leaves and stems
Early instar larvae (1st-3rd) feed gregariously
Laster instar larvae (4th & 5th) are usually solitary
The cocoon is usually attached to a twig of the host or nearby plants, rarely if ever incorporates leaves, and is often spun low or tucked away in the shade (often found at base of host plants)
*Some Central American populations are reported to be nocturnal in breeding habits.” It appears your individual is a female as her antennae are not as developed as those of typical males.