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!
When you learn more about plant species you are able to tell when something is different. While driving (slowly) I noticed something “odd” about this Spanish needle flower and sure enough there was something “odd”.
The Wavy-lined Looper, Camouflaged Looper, Wavy-lined Emerald (Synchlora aerata)
A very unique caterpillar indeed. These caterpillars collect pieces of flowers and/or plant material and use that to cover their backs (hence the name), which would be very cool to video. This is caterpillar for the Wavy-Lined Emerald Moth.
The Genista Broom Moths Caterpillar. These are tenting caterpillars similar to the Eastern Tent Caterpillars.
These caterpillars leave silk like strands from leaf to leaf and create a tent or canopy like web for their pupa stage. These moths have 5 instars (stages of life). Two stages are the caterpillar (orange and green), pupa and two adult stages.