Polka Dot Wasp Moth

Subject: What kind of insect is this?
Location: St. Augustine FL
November 12, 2016 8:26 am
My Brother in law has had this guy in his garage for a few days. It has basically stayed right where it landed and has not moved. Any idea what it is?
Signature: Thank You, Jay

Polka Dot Wasp Moth
Polka Dot Wasp Moth

Dear Jay,
The Polka Dot Wasp Moth,
Syntomeida epilais, is a relatively common species in Florida because the caterpillars feed on the leaves of oleander, which is cultivated extensively in home gardens in the area.  This harmless species derives protection because it mimics stinging wasps, and wary predators will leave it be.

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