moth defense behavior

Doug Yanega dyanega at
Tue Aug 24 12:49:24 EDT 1999

>     I found a large, attractive moth in our neighborhood in Northern
>New Mexico (Los Alamos)during the daytime on a sidewalk near our church.
>It resembled the "underwing" family, in that it was grey/black on the
>upper wings but a striking pink/orange on the underwings. Its body was a
>little over an inch long, and strikingly striped in yellow/orange and
>black (my little son thought it was a bumble bee!). The most startling
>feature was huge, bright sulfur yellow, plumose antennae.

That makes it sound like one of the Hemileucine Saturniid moths, many of
which have that kind of defensive behavior. I'm not sure about which
species that would be. The way things have been this year in the SW, it
could even be something from Mexico that we rarely see.


Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521
phone: (909) 787-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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