Polka-Dot Wasp Moth (Oleander Moth) on a Mexican Sunflower by AuntDot

Polka-Dot Wasp Moth (Oleander Moth) on a Mexican Sunflower by 

1805 views as of Sept. 23, 2014

Canon PowerShot SX260 HS; 1/160s, f/6.8, ISO 160, focal length 90mm; AUTO setting

I found this colorful creature in Cedar Key, Florida, USA. It was on a large Mexican sunflower plant growing right at the edge of the road. I shot this through the open car window.

Top Ten Winner in the “AVATAR September” challenge in Insects, Bugs & Creepy Crawlies, Sept. 22, 2014
FEATURED in ♥Artists Universe♥, April 10, 2013
FEATURED in +Florida the Sunshine State
, Nov. 16, 2012

From Wikipedia:
The Polka-Dot Wasp Moth (Syntomeida epilais) is a species of moth thought to be native to the Caribbean. The species is also called the Oleander Moth after the Oleander plant, from which its young feed. Like most wasp moths, these moths are day fliers. They are dark metallic blue with a couple of white polka-dots dotting the wings and upper abdomen. The tip of the moth’s abdomen is bright red; it looks like a very dangerous wasp, but in fact is a harmless moth.The caterpillars are orange or dark orange with long black hairs. The larvae stage of the Polka-Dot wasp moth, commonly called the Oleander caterpillar, is widely known for its gluttonous appetite. The caterpillar feeds in almost any location (excepting California) where its food, the Oleander plant, can be found. They are gregarious and can cause damage from minor to severe.
This is my photo of an Oleander Caterpillar:

Having lived most of my life in the northeast U.S., I am enjoying retired life in sunny Florida. I enjoy photographing many different kinds of things, but especially flowers and animals, including the beautiful birds found here in Florida. I am currently using a Canon EOS Rebel XSi/450D camera, a Canon 55-250 mm telescopic zoom lens, and a Sony P10 Cyber-shot digital camera. My newest acquisition is a Canon PowerShot SX260 HS, a point and shoot which I will be carrying in my purse.

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  • AuntDot
    AuntDotover 2 years ago

  • Rosalie Scanlon
    Rosalie Scanlonover 2 years ago

    Excellent image Dot, neat looking Moth.

  • Thanks, Rosie. I was surprised to find out that this came from the Oleander Caterpillar.

    – AuntDot

  • Larry Trupp
    Larry Truppover 2 years ago

    WONDERFUL capture Dot

  • Thanks so much, Larry!

    – AuntDot

  • TomBaumker
    TomBaumkerover 2 years ago

    Nice close up my friend. Well done. Hugs

  • Thank you, Tom. Funny looking bug, isn’t it!!

    – AuntDot

  • Robert Elliott
    Robert Elliottover 2 years ago

    super capture Dot

  • Thank you so much, Robert!

    – AuntDot

  • kathy s gillentine
    kathy s gillen...over 2 years ago

    Gorgeous capture

  • Thanks so much, Kathy. I had seen this moth once or twice before, but I never knew what it was. I was so surprised that it came from that hairy orange caterpiller!

    – AuntDot

  • Lynn Gedeon
    Lynn Gedeonover 2 years ago

    Lovely, bright image!

  • Thank you so much, Lynn!

    – AuntDot

  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkeover 2 years ago

  • Thank you, Ray!

    – AuntDot

  • Monnie Ryan
    Monnie Ryanover 2 years ago

    What an interesting and colorful moth! I know I’d have run the other way (well, MAYBE I’d have been brave enough to take a shot from the car)! You got this one beautifully!

  • I wasn’t afraid of this guy, but there were a LOT of bees buzzing about, so I kept my arms inside the car. I will post one of those bees in the future.

    – AuntDot

  • billfox256
    billfox256over 2 years ago

    Wonderful colors in this really excellent capture!!! Bill

  • Thank you, Bill. An unusual bug for sure!

    – AuntDot

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