Moths of the Amazon and Andes

Spanish moth

Xanthopastis timais  CRAMER, 1780
Superfamily - NOCTUOIDAE
subfamily - GLOTTULINAE
Tribe -
Xanthopastis timais, Rio Alto Madre de Dios, 550m, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
The genus Xanthopastis contains only a single species timias, which is instantly recognisable from the black and orange markings. The ground colour is slightly pinkish in freshly emerged adults but quickly fades to white.
Xanthopastis timais is found from Pennsylvania in the USA, south to Brazil, Peru and Argentina.
This is a lowland species found at altitudes between 0-800m.
The eggs are yellowish and are laid in clusters of up to 200 on the underside of leaves of Amaryllis, Cooperia, Eucharis, Haemanthus, Hippeastrum, Hymenocallis, Narcissus, Pancratium, Zephyranthes, Polianthes, Clivia ( Amaryllidaceae ); Crinum, Leucojum, Lilium ( Liliaceae ) and Iris ( Iridaceae ).
The caterpillars are known as 'convicts' in North America. They are black, ringed with white between the segments. The head, prolegs and anal segment are orange. The larvae feed gregariously on the leaves, bulbs and rhizomes of the foodplants, and are regarded as pests in the USA. The pupa is black and is formed in loose soil.
Adult behaviour

I once found over 20 of these moths resting at dawn on the lower trunks of a group of palm trees in Peru, perhaps indicative of a spontaneous emergence triggered by local weather conditions.


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