What is this pretty insect?

KaraLynn(z9 FL, Inverness, Citrus)August 31, 2012

Late yesterday after I got home from work I went out to feed the pond fish and spotted this rather pretty insect laying eggs on my desert rose. It's body is about an inch long and looks like a butterflies body but the wings don't look anything like a butterflies except for the spots. Whatever it is was really fixated on that desert rose since I kept twisting the pot around and tilting it trying to get a good picture and it only flew off once only to come back less than a minute later. Anyone recogize it? I really need to get a decent book on florida insects.


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polka-dot wasp moth - obviously a female. Sure is pretty, huh?!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 8:42AM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

Congratulations, you have an Oleander Moth. Also called a Wasp Moth for the way it looks.

Wiki information about it.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 8:43AM
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KaraLynn(z9 FL, Inverness, Citrus)

Thanks for the quick response! Yes, it is really pretty and I am sure glad it's harmless as I had my hands within a couple inches of it as I was twisting around leaves trying to get the perfect shot! She layed far too many eggs for my one small desert rose and there aren't any oleanders growing in my neighborhood. Will the plant come back if I let the cats eat all of the leaves?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 8:54AM
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Neighbor's desert rose was defoliated by one. It was hard on the plant, it took a while but it did come back. Am i remembering correctly that some people have a sensitivity to contact with the spines of these caterpillars?

From Unv. of Fl regarding affect on oleander:
(which I think would apply to adenium as well)

"Total defoliation will not kill the plant but, if it occurs repeatedly year after year, the plant may be more susceptible to other pests such as scale insects."

Here is a link that might be useful: Oleander Moth

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 2:33PM
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