I found this moth on the trail of McKinney Roughs Nature Park (outside of Austin, Texas). It's a Giant Leopard Moth (Hypercompe scribonia), also known as an Eyed Tiger Moth. I'm not sure if he was hurt or just tuckered out but I didn't want to bother him aside from taking a quick photograph. Well, it's more like a portrait.
When I was little we used to spot a LOT of little hairy caterpillars in the herb garden or trying to cross the street (which always worried me). My family called them "woolly" caterpillars. I considered them the teddy bear of the caterpillars. Therefore, I liked them. Granted, there are a lot of fuzzy bear worms out there but if you ever see a woolly caterpillar it might just be a baby Giant Leopard Moth. Don't try to pick them up and snuggle them though because, while they look fuzzy and sweet, the bristles on the caterpillars can irritate the skin and cause a rash!
The abdomen of a giant leopard moth is orange and blue. I think of it as God's way of showing us that as soon as we think we are seeing it all "in black and white" there is often something lurking beneath. In this case, something good, and pretty, and surprisingly delightful.
To see the orange and blue enlightenment of a Giant Leopard Moth's six pack abs: click here to check out BugGuide.net!
What kind of bugs have you seen lately?
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
No Taxon (Moths)
Family Arctiidae (Tiger Moths)
Subfamily Arctiinae (Tiger Moths)
Species scribonia (Giant Leopard Moth - Hodges#8146)