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!
After the Butterfly Count at Chinsegut Conservation Center, a friend Linda Morehouse, who is also an FWC Volunteer as well, and I decided to take a short hike over at the Big Pine Tract.
Chinsegut Wildlife and Environmental Area has three hiking areas; Nature Center Trail, Pines to Prairie Trail (Corner of 41 and Snow Memorial HWY), Big Pine Tract as well as managing Perry Oldenburg and Janet Butterfield. Janet Butterfield is closed to the public, however they do have closed hiking days available, see http://myfwc.com/chinsegut for scheduled next hike)
The Ornate Bella Moth..
What a beautiful moth! The colors orange and pink with black spots just features an extraordinary design against its white body!