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Species Cosmosoma myrodora - Scarlet-Bodied Wasp Moth - Hodges#8280

Moth - Cosmosoma myrodora Scarlet-bodied Wasp Moth - Cosmosoma myrodora - Cosmosoma myrodora - female Scarlet-bodied Wasp-moth, Cosmosoma auge - Cosmosoma myrodora Scarlet-Bodied Wasp Moth - Cosmosoma myrodora - male vibrant insect - Cosmosoma myrodora Scarlet-bodied Wasp Moth (Cosmosoma myrodora) - Cosmosoma myrodora Scarlet-bodied Wasp Moth (Cosmosoma myrodora) - Cosmosoma myrodora Cosmosoma - Cosmosoma myrodora
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
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 Cosmosoma
Species myrodora (Scarlet-Bodied Wasp Moth - Hodges#8280)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Cosmosoma myrodora (Dyar, 1907)
Two Cosmosoma species are found in America north of Mexico.(1)
Wingspan about 34 mm. (original description)
Identification - original description in the Journal of the New York Entomological Society (1893).
Southeastern states, primarily in Florida but also (mostly near the coast) from South Carolina to Texas.
Coastal plains.
March to December, most records Sept to Nov. (Brou 2003)
Larvae feed on Climbing Hempweed, Mikania scandens, a twining vine in the daisy family (Asteraceae). * USDA plant profile

Adult males extract toxic chemicals from Dogfennel Eupatorium (Eupatorium capillifolium). * USDA plant profile
Life Cycle
1.larva 2.pupae
These moths display warning coloration, yet the caterpillars host on non-toxic Climbing Hempweed, Mikania scandens, (family Asteraceae), a weedy vine at field margins and roadsides that can completely obscure bushes and small trees. The adult male moth extracts toxins known as "pyrrolizidine alkaloids" from Dogfennel Eupatorium (Eupatorium capillifolium) and showers these toxins over the female prior to mating. This is the only insect known to transfer a chemical defense in this way.
Print References
Lafontaine J. D., and B. C. Schmidt 2010. Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America North of Mexico. p. 22.(1)
Brou, Jr., V.A. 2003. Cosmosoma myrodora Dyar in Louisiana. South. Lepid. News 25: 46. Full PDF
Conner, W.E , R. Boada, F.C. Schroeder., A. Gonzàlez, J. Meinwald, & T. Eisner. 2000. Chemical defense: bestowal of a nuptial alkaloidal garment by a male moth upon its mate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 97(26):14406-14411.
Internet References
Moth Photographers Group - range map, living and pinned adults.
NABA South Texas Chapter - photos of live adults.
Moth Photographers Group - photo of living Cosmosoma myrodora and related species.
BOLD - Barcode of Life Data Systems - collection map and photos of pinned adults.
A gift of poison: moths and safe sex - article on Wake Forest University website.
Scarlet-bodied Wasp Moth (Cosmosoma myrodora) - Texas Entomology - Mike Quinn
Works Cited
1.Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America north of Mexico.
Donald J. Lafontaine, B. Christian Schmidt. 2010. ZooKeys 40: 1–239 .