This beautiful moth, a Tiger Moth (Asota speciosa), caught my attention on the wall of our house in Fish Hoek. The experts at I-Spot kindly confirmed that it is indeed a Tiger Moth.

Its caterpillar, a black  hairy creepy crawly with a broad yellow stripe along its back, feeds mainly on Ficus species (fig trees), destroying the latex-carrying midrib of the leaves. The milky latex is unpleasant to caterpillars, gumming up their mouths, and to herbivores. The caterpillar after sabotaging the flow of latex, then eats the parts of the leaves that are deprived of the latex.

(Unfortunately my battery died after taking one picture and when able to use the camera again the moth had gone. So a very fuzzy image!)

Tiger Moth (Asota speciosa): Photo Viv of Scenic South

Tiger Moth (Asota speciosa): Photo Viv of Scenic South

This is a better image from the I-Spot website http://www.ispot.org.za, taken by Michael McSweeney

Specious Tiger Moth (Asota speciosa) by Michael McSweeney http://www.ispot.org.za/node/148063

Specious Tiger Moth (Asota speciosa) by Michael McSweeney http://www.ispot.org.za/node/148063

 

and, also form I-Spot, an image of the Specious Tiger Moth (larva) / Asota speciosa (Invertebrates) submitted by Tony Rebelo:

Specious Tiger Moth (larva) / Asota speciosa (Invertebrates) by Tony Rebelo. Image fromhttp://www.ispot.org.za/node/145564

Specious Tiger Moth (larva) / Asota speciosa (Invertebrates) by Tony Rebelo. Image fromhttp://www.ispot.org.za/node/145564