Ornate Tiger Moth

Last May I did a post on the larval or caterpillar stage of the garden tiger moth (Arctia caja), but have yet to get a picture of the adult stage. However, I did get a picture of another tiger moth, the ornate tiger moth (Grammia ornata). This moth was in our yard (Modoc County CA).

Abundant in moist forests and grasslands of the United States west of the Rockies, the ornate tiger moth is variable in coloration. The upper wings are black with an off-white,  net-like pattern. The hind wings are orange or orange-red and are heavily marked with black, including some spots. I think they are beautiful.

The caterpillars of ornate tiger moths are not particular about their diet and will feed on a wide variety of herbaceous vegetation. More information on the life cycle of moths can be found in the garden tiger moth link noted above.

Moths have antennae that are often feathery and lack the terminal club found on butterfly antennae.

The ornate tiger moth is nocturnal. Males of this species are attracted to lights. When light traps are set out for scientific purposes, male ornate tiger moths are caught while female ornate tiger moths are not trapped. Apparently the females are not drawn to light.

The ornate tiger moth belongs to the apantesis group of tiger moths and was once known as Apantesis ornata.

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2 Responses to Ornate Tiger Moth

  1. Lin says:

    Absolutely beautiful…I’ve not seen this one !!!


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