|Subfamily Arctiinae – Tiger and Lichen Moths|
This large assemblage also includes footmen, Haploa, and ctenuchid moths.
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Live adult moths and caterpillars photographed in the wild at various North American locations.
Subfamily Arctiinae – Tiger and Lichen Moths
Formerly family Arctiidae, this is a large and diverse family of moths with around 11,000 species in three tribes worldwide .
The most distinctive feature of the family is a tymbal organ on the metathorax which uses a thin membrane to produce ultrasonic countermeasures against their chief predator's (bats) echolocation system. Larvae of some species use sound along with color to advertise their inedibility; many species acquire chemical defenses from their hostplants e.g., milkweeds or dogbane.)
Oregon Cycnia Moth
Banded Woolly Bear Caterpillar, Isabella Tiger Moth Larva
If disturbed, woolly bear caterpillars will roll into a tight spiral. Common folklore has it that the forthcoming severity of a winter can be predicted by the amount of black on the Isabella tiger moth's caterpillar, the most familiar woolly bear in North America; however the relative width of the black band varies among instars, not according to weather (Wagner 2005). Isabella tiger moths (Pyrrharctia isabella) overwinter in the caterpillar stage. They can survive freezing at moderate subzero temperatures by producing a cryo-protectant chemical.
Yellow-collared Scape Moth
Yellow Bear Caterpillar
Milkweed Tussock Moth
Virginia Ctenuchid Moth
Harnessed Tiger Moth
Virginia Ctenuchid Caterpillar
Woolly Bear Caterpillar
1. United States Geological Survey, Caterpillars of Eastern Forests
2. Bugguide.net, “Subfamily Arctiinae“
3. Bugguide.net “Dagger Moth Caterpillar”
Order Lepidoptera: Moths. Unlike the butterflies, moths are usually nocturnal. Many moths and their caterpillars are major agricultural pests in large parts of the world. Moths in the family Tineidae are commonly regarded as pests because their larvae eat fabrics, clothes and blankets made from natural fibers such as wool or silk. Moths in the genus Farinalis feed on stored grain, flour, corn meal and other milled grain products.
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