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Species Syntomeida epilais - Oleander Moth - Hodges#8284

Oleander Moth - Syntomeida epilais Oleander Moth - Syntomeida epilais Polka dots - Syntomeida epilais Caterpillar - Syntomeida epilais Wierd Spotted Wasp - Syntomeida epilais Oleander Moth - Syntomeida epilais pupa - Syntomeida epilais Orange hairy caterpillar - Syntomeida epilais
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Family Erebidae
Subfamily Arctiinae (Tiger and Lichen Moths)
Tribe Arctiini (Tiger Moths)
Subtribe Euchromiina
Genus Syntomeida
Species epilais (Oleander Moth - Hodges#8284)
Hodges Number
8284
Other Common Names
Polka-dot Wasp Moth, Oleander Caterpillar
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Syntomeida epilais (Walker)
Orig. Comb: Euchromia epilais Walker 1854
Numbers
Size
wingspan ~43 mm - MPG
Caterpillars to about 2"
Identification
Day-flying. Adult moth largely dark metallic blue, with white spots on the wings and body and red-tipped abdomen.
Caterpillars to about 2", orange with black tufts of hair.
Range
coastal MS-FL-SC, TX - MPG
Habitat
Caterpillars are a common on Oleanders and adults are often found nectaring nearby.
Season
Year-round in FL - MPG
Food
Larvae feed on Oleander (Nerium oleander), Desert Rose (Adenium species), Devil's Potato (Echites umbellata) and perhaps other members of the Dogbane Family (Apocynaceae). Adults nectar on flowers, particularly members of the Asteraceae.
Life Cycle
Life cycle images:
mated pair; ovipositing female; larva; pupa; adult
See Also

The spotted oleander caterpillar, Empyreuma pugione (above) is considerably less common and less destructive than the oleander caterpillar, Syntomeida epilias (below)
Print References
Bratley HE. 1932. The oleander caterpillar, Syntomeida epilais Walker. Florida Entomologist 15: 55-64.
Covell. 2005. Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America. (1)
Goldstein, J.A. & R.B. Simmons. 2005. A morphological revision of the tiger moth genus Syntomeida Harris. (Lepidoptera: Noctuoidea: Arctiidae: Arctiinae: Euchromiini). Poster. ESA Annual Meeting, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
McAuslane HJ, Bennett FD. 1995. Parasitoids and predators associated with Syntomeida epilais (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) on oleander. Florida Entomologist 78: 543-546.
Rothschild M, von Euw J, Reichstein T. 1973. Cardiac glycosides (heart poisons) in the polka-dot moth Syntomeida epilais Walk. (Ctenuchidae: Lep.) with some observations on the toxic qualities of Amata (=Syntomis) phegea (L.). Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 183: 227-247.
Sanderford MV, Conner WE. 1990. Courtship sounds of the polka-dot wasp moth, Syntomeida epilais. Naturwissenschaften 77: 345-347.
Internet References
Texas Entomology - Mike Quinn
Amazing series of life history photos - Claudine and Pierre Guezennec, Guadeloupe (captions in French)
Works Cited
1.Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America
Charles V. Covell, Jr. 2005.