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Tiger Moths - mating pair

Horama oedippus

Description:

The Horama species of moths mimic wasps to protect themselves from predators.

Habitat:

Mexico - Central America.


No species ID suggestions

13 Comments

Small Wonders
Small Wonders 6 years ago

Thanks Jacob... added to the mission!

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 6 years ago

WOW! Incredible moth, Small Wonders! I especially like the boots. :) Could you add this to my mission, "Moths of the World?'
http://www.projectnoah.org/missions/8841...

Austin Jacobs
Austin Jacobs 6 years ago

The smoked black wings are pretty neat.

Small Wonders
Small Wonders 6 years ago

Thank you Mayra :)

MayraSpringmann
MayraSpringmann 6 years ago

Fantastic!

CarolSnowMilne
CarolSnowMilne 6 years ago

WOW!

auntnance123
auntnance123 7 years ago

Love those over-sized leg warmers.

Small Wonders
Small Wonders 7 years ago

True...
And yet another possible validation for the leaf-footed mimicry theory, is that both sexes have these brushlike tibiae which is normally found in male species (as you mentioned in your earlier comment)... Even BugGuide cites this specifically in males for Horama panthalon http://bugguide.net/node/view/39023, but this obviously may not be gender specific to Horama.

bayucca
bayucca 7 years ago

I am not sure if for example Leptoglossus sp. taste really good for birds. If disturbed they might eject (!) a nasty liquid (OK some talk about pine or apple flavour, others from just horrible smell). So, there might nevertheless some strange intention behind this kind of mimicry...

Small Wonders
Small Wonders 7 years ago

To answer your earlier question - evidently leaf-footed bugs taste good! They are often eaten by birds, spiders, assassin bugs, and other predators. So a mimic may not be a very good strategy against predation...

bayucca
bayucca 7 years ago

I think they might smell quite well, at least the males for the females and the other way round. This brushlike adnexes on the feet are actually so-called androconial organs, like for example the scent scales on butterfly wings. So these organs are respondable for the pheromones in males (I only read of the ones in males). I do not know if this arrangement at the feet and looking like the hindleg tibiaes in the Leaf-footed bugs is really for mimicry against predatory birds. If yes, why a second one with a wasp-like apprearence, which looks not even like similar to any bug? Would be interesting to know more about this.

Small Wonders
Small Wonders 7 years ago

Thanks bayucca & interesting observation... Do we know if these feathery tibia serve any purpose? I cannot find many resources on Horama, except that they are assumed to mimic Polistes.

bayucca
bayucca 7 years ago

Cool spotting!! They might also mimicry leaf-footed bugs. Does anybody knows how they taste, I mean the beetles and for birds? Unpalatable??

Quintana Roo, Mexico

Lat: 20.40, Long: -87.32

Spotted on Dec 25, 2011
Submitted on Jan 24, 2012

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