If you are hanging around shaded swamps and woodland areas, you are guaranteed to see these little ones fluttering around. They are perfectly hidden amongst the brown decaying leaves.
If you look closely you can see an iridescent silvery purple tint on the hind wings and slightly on the ridge of the fore wings, depending on the angle and the light. Super cool how the wavy lines on the fore and hind wings match up perfectly when folded.
So far there are two Spanish Moth Caterpillars recorded in Hernando County, both at Chassahowitzka WMA, myself and Pete Kleinhenz, according to Inaturalist.
Caterpillars feed on Spider Lillies and other Amaryllidaceae so I am assuming can be found more wetland habitats.
Larvae have six instars, (transformations) emerges out of the pupa stage around eight days and feeding for 17 days and last pupal stage around 19 days. Adults live around 8-10 days that include up to three days of flight and mating.
They don’t live very long, only about two months. Hopefully, I can time it just right to get photos of the moth, because it’s a beauty!
It was pretty cool how I spotted these because they are very easy to overlook.
Every time I would try to photograph a damselfly, it would fly away. I would have back up and follow where it landed, it happened three times until that last stop I noticed the caterpillars. Kind of neat how nature leads you to the best spots!