Monday, October 04, 2010

Yellow-collared Scape Moth

Lately I have been seeing a few Yellow-collared Scape Moths (Cisseps fulvicollis). The one in the image above was photographed at Willowwood Arboretum; the one in the two images below was at Cape May Point State Park. Adults of this species are often present around flowers, particularly goldenrod, where they sip nectar. These brightly-colored moths mimic the appearance of wasps to discourage predators.

Yellow-collared Scape Moths are very similar to another moth species, Virginia Ctenucha (Ctenucha virginica). One character that differentiates the two species is that the Virginia Ctenucha has metallic blue on its thorax while the Yellow-collared Scape Moth has an all-black thorax. (Both have metallic blue abdomens.) Virginia Ctenuchas are also less likely to be active late in the season.