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Insect Scout: deadmanswill
Location: Miryalaguda, AP, India
Species Identifier(s): claypa, suunto (http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/912378/)
Points to appreciate:
- Observe the orange bands on the body of the moth. It is a predatory deterrent making the moth appear like a bee or a wasp.
- This is the reason they are commonly called wasp moths.
- Eressa moths belong to the family Arctiidae.
- Arctiidae is a large and diverse family of moths with around 11,000 species found all over the world.
- The most distinctive feature of the family is a tymbal organ on the metathorax. This organ has membranes which are vibrated to produce ultrasonic sounds.
- They also have thoracic tympanal organs for hearing.
- The sounds are used in mating and defense against predators.
- The insects advertise these defenses with aposematic bright coloration, unusual postures, odours, or, in adults, ultrasonic vibrations. Some mimic moths that are poisonous, or wasps that sting like the ones above.