Western Grape-leaf Skeletonizer

Harrisina metallica

Western Grape-leaf Skeletonizer, Harrisina metallica, photo © by M. Plagens

A pair of Grape-leaf Skeletonizers alighted on a leaf of Canyon Grape (Vitis arizonica) in Florida Canyon, Sta. Rita Mountains, Arizona, USA. 27 July 2013.

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Both the adult moth (shown here) and the immature larvae (caterpillars) are striking in appearance. The moth looks like a wasp - and this might persuade a bird to avoid getting stung. The larvae are brightly banded blue and yellow and feed in groups on grape leaves. This warning coloration belies the chemical defense that this insect possesses.

Zygaenidae -- Skeletonizer Moth Family

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Arizona Naturalist
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Invertebrates in Arizona's Sycamore Canyons


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 23 September 2014