Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Orange monster

We don't get much in the way of moths or butterflies all the way out here so I was a little surprised earlier in the year when I came across some Oleader bushes being devastated by these guys.


Apparently this is the spotted oleander caterpillar, Empyreuma affinis, one of very few insects that take a liking to oleander. There were a lot of these chaps and they were really going to work.

Empyreuma affinis ?

The moth itself is apparently a little drab but, hey, lots of teenage punks grow up to be drab bank managers!


Moe said...

Great picture and good analogy with the punks becoming bank managers! :)

Granny J said...

So this guy is immune to the poisons in oleanders? Down in Phoenix, where there are loads of oleanders, there periodically is a tragedy when an innocent uses an oleander twig for roasting a hot dog or marshmallows!

tai haku said...

Wow - I knew they weren't popular herbivore food but I had no idea they were quite that toxic Granny J. This is the foodplant for these caterpillars perhaps the only one - it could explain their bright orange colours if they can harness/process those toxins