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Jul 192012
 
photo by Olivia Scott
The Virginia Ctenuchid (Ctenucha virginica) is a diurnal moth, a vigorous pollinator, and a welcome visitor to wild and cultivated flowers.  Often mistaken for a butterfly, this member of the Arctiidae family is active both day and night.  With a wingspan of 2 inches, an iridescent blue body and wing color varying from black to smoky brown.  The head is red-orange with black feathery antennae.

The species is endemic to Eastern North America, and undergoes complete metamorphosis from May through August.  The caterpillar feeds mainly on grasses, while the adult on nectar, mostly during daylight.

Steven Scott

Steven Scott

Steven Scott is a photonaturalist blogger based in Florida and Maine. He has surveyed butterflies with Earthwatch Institute in the mountains of Vietnam, tagged juvenile snook with Mote Marine Laboratory in the mangroves of Florida and filmed a BioBlitz insect survey in Acadia National Park. A registered nurse and retired Army officer, Steven believes man is an integral part of nature and travels annually to Vietnam with humanitarian medical teams from Vets With a Mission.


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