Winter Park Fl. This bug was flying around my bedroom. I finally managed to get it outside, and took a good look, because it was really very pretty (although much more so when it was outside, instead of in). The body is bright red, with black towards the bottom, and the wings had an almost lacy black pattern on them. I’ve never seen anything like it. Any idea what it is?
You found a Scarlet-Bodied Wasp Moth. You are right it is very colorful like a piece of artwork. Nature at its best!
This insect is only found in the very southern states and it feeds on a roadside weed, so enjoy the pretty moth for us northern folks!
Bugguide reports – 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.
Not sure how it got inside but several bugs manage to do that. Thanks for sharing with us!