8038 – Composia fidelissima,

Faithful Beauty Moth 

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Freshly emerged female

Egg with Trichogramma parasites

Final instar head capsule

Freshly emerged male

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Species Pages

eggs

Final instar larva

Devil's claw - larval host

Freshly emerged male

Freshly emerged male

3rd instar larva

Pupa

Final instar larva

Pupa

Freshly emerged male

Freshly emerged male

When disturbed, a fowl tasting foam is emitted from a gland in the thorax to deter predators

Freshly emerged male

Freshly emerged female

egg clusters showing developement

egg clusters showing developement

Mating Pair

General Species Information

Host Plant: Devil's Potato - Echites umbellata - Apocynaceae, Baybean (Canavalia rosea)

Historical Range:  South Florida and Cuba

Our Experience with this Species: We have found the "faithful beauty" at lights in Key Largo in the following months; Oct, Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar. Back in 1999, Leroy Koehn and I found larvae on Big Pine Key but no adults have shown up in the survey

Notes: This certainly is one of South Florida's most spectacular Lepidopteran species. Adults fly during the day (mostly in the late afternoon or evenings). They frequent pine flats and hardwood hammocks where devils claw vines grows. Larvae are equally impressive and are quite easy to find. This species can easily be reared on oleander. Enclosed females also readily lay eggs. Larvae are highly gregareous in early instars but become solitary in later instars as the host vine is often quickly defoliated by a larval cluster. Later instar larvae wonder off the vine in seacrch of nearby plants that hold leaves. There have been times when searching for these larvae where all host plant foliage in a given area is totally defoliated leaving larvae to wander around in search of food. This species is more common on the southern Florida mainland than it is on Key Largo. 

Distribution Chart

K. Largo   Marath. Ba. Hond     B.P.K.   No Name  Sck. Isd.    K. West
Colored box indicates adult of this species has been confirmed on that island

Adult Flight Chart

  Jan.       Feb.     Mar.     Apr.    May     Jun.      Jul.       Aug.     Sep.     Oct.     Nov.     Dec.
Colored box indicates adult of this species has been confirmed in that month

References