Scarlet Bodied Wasp Moth

Very red wasp
Location: SW Florida
March 29, 2011 9:40 pm
I found this lovely looking wasp buzzing around my room.
I live in SW Florida, he was spotted as I ducked. Discovered March 27, 2011.
Thank you, very much, bug man. I did help him to escape without harm. Hopefully he is a bug that devours garden eating buggies.
Signature: Kate

Scarlet Bodied Wasp Moth

Hi Katy,
This is not a wasp, but rather a moth that mimics a wasp.  It is a Scarlet Bodied Wasp Moth,
Cosmosoma myrodora, and it is found if Florida primarily, but also west to Texas and north to North Carolina according to BugGuideBugGuide also notes this interesting information:  “These moths display warning coloration, yet the caterpillars host on non-toxic Climbing Hempweed, Mikania scandens, (family Asteraceae), a weedy vine at field margins and roadsides that can completely obscure bushes and small trees. The adult male moth extracts toxins known as ‘pyrrolizidine alkaloids’ from Dogfennel Eupatorium (Eupatorium capillifolium) and showers these toxins over the female prior to mating. This is the only insect known to transfer a chemical defense in this way.”

Thank you, bug man.  How interesting.  I would never have thought that was a moth.  He was beautiful, glad I got his picture.  Thank you for your research.

1 thought on “Scarlet Bodied Wasp Moth”

  1. I saw this yesterday on Marigolds that were as red as it is. Couldn’t decide if it were a wasp or a moth, but this cleared it right up!
    I live in Southern coastal Georgia.


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