Found this insect just hanging around my work building. Richmond, VA
Not on a plant. Just chilling on a piece of paper. It’s body looks a lot like a lightning bug, but has psychedelic markings! BEAUTIFUL!!
Your insect is a moth…Ailanthus Webworm Moth.
They are found over most of eastern North America.
The adults feed on nectar of various flowers. They do fly during the day time which is unusual for most moths. Though, those that do, are the most colorful to blend with bright flowers.
The caterpillars are found in webs in Ailanthus (tree of heaven) and paradise trees. The caterpillars may also feed on other deciduous trees and shrubs.
The Ailanthus tree is not native and is invasive. The insect is native…but it has learned to like this invasive tree….a good thing!