The Utetheisa pulchella Moth

Photo by Ali A. Reihani

I stumbled upon this moth in the garden. I like moths, and this is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen.

Utetheisa pulchella, the crimson-speckled flunkeycrimson-speckled footman, or crimson-speckled moth, is a moth of the family Erebidae. Carl Linnaeus first described the species in his 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae.

The wingspan of Utetheisa pulchella can reach 29–42 mm.[7] The front wings are narrow, white or cream coloured with a variable pattern of numerous small black spots located between the larger-sized bright red spots. Sometimes the red spots are merged into transversal bands. The hindwings are broad, white, with an irregular black border along the outer edge and two black markings in the middle of the cell.[6] The head and thorax range from cream colour to buff-yellow, with the same pattern as the wings. The antennae are long and monofiliform. The abdomen is smooth, with a white background.

Caterpillars are warty, dark brown or greyish, with tufts of greyish hairs, an orange crossline on each segment, a wide whitish line along the back and two other lateral white lines.