Solo Butterfly Series
The Milkweed Tiger Moth, Euchaetes egle, is a North American species. It is a very drab sort of moth – if one only looks at the wings. It is the brightly striped body that made me want to paint it. Like Monarch butterflies, this moth retains toxins from feeding on milkweed plants as a caterpillar, rendering it distasteful. The Milkweed Tiger Moth has evolved another defense as well. It can emit an ultrasonic signal that warns bats, its main predators, of a noxious meal. The caterpillar of this species, the Milkweed Tussock Caterpillar, is quite intriguing, with long bristles and hairs of black, orange and white. The caterpillar appears in my watercolor, “Butterflies, Moths, Caterpillars”.