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Utetheisa Tiger Moth

March 24th, 2015

a Bella moth, also known as Beautiful Utetheisa, in the Utetheisa genus of tiger moths

This is a Bella Moth, also known as Beautiful Utetheisa, in the Utetheisa genus of tiger moths. Unlike most moths, this moth is diurnal (day-active), and contains warning coloration signaling to potential predators that they are not very tasty; their caterpillars feed on species of Crotalaria plants which contain toxic alkaloids that then become incorporated into the larvae and subsequently, the adult moths as well. Larvae of the well-known Monarch Butterfly utilize the same type of defense mechanism, from the toxic alkaloids contained in the milkweed plants upon which the caterpillars exclusively feed.

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