21 Types of Moths in Florida (With Pictures)

Types of Moths in Florida
Photo by Malcolm Baskerville on Unsplash

Florida is home to many moth species, showcasing a captivating range of colors, patterns, and behaviors.

From the majestic Luna moths with their emerald-green wings and delicate tails to the striking Io moths with their bold orange and black patterns, 

Florida’s moth population offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of these nocturnal insects.

Other notable types of moths in Florida include the elegant Polyphemus moths, the intricately marked Rosy Maple moths, and the cryptically patterned Waved Sphinx moths.

Whether blending seamlessly with their surroundings or standing out with vibrant hues, these types of moths in Florida exhibit a remarkable variety that never fails to captivate both enthusiasts and casual observers alike.

1. Achemon Sphinx Moths

Achemon Sphinx Moths
by J. N. Stuart is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Achemon Sphinx moths are the first on our list of moths in Florida, belonging to the hawkmoths family.

These moths are large, powerful, and swift. You can’t believe they are active at night and can be found drinking nectar from various flowers, including Japanese honeysuckle, phlox, and petunias.

Their wings beat so rapidly that they can be mistaken for hummingbirds. They inhabit most of North America and are active during the summer months.

The adult moths have a light brown or tan color with symmetrical dark brown patches on their ‘shoulders,’ in the middle and at the tip of each wing.

When their wings are spread, you can see bright pink coloration on the smaller hindwings.

Their legs are covered in cream-colored hairs. Despite their beauty and size, vintners consider their offspring undesirable.

The caterpillar of the Achemon Sphinx moth is also brown, resembling the adult form. It is larger than caterpillars from other families.

Diagonally running down its hairless body are seven short white lines from its head to the other end.

It belongs to the hornworm group of caterpillars because it possesses a long spine, or “horn,” at the rear of its body. 

As the caterpillar grows and matures, it eventually loses the horn and develops an eyespot. This species feeds on grapevine leaves and is a nuisance in vineyards. 

Virginia creeper and woodbine are also popular food sources for this caterpillar. You can usually observe them chewing leaves in August and September.

2. Afflicted Dagger Moths

Afflicted Dagger Moth
by Wildreturn is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Afflicted Dagger Moth is also one of the types of moths in Florida that inhabits woodland areas.

On its wings, dark areas are so dark that it’s nearly impossible to see the black dashes, or daggers, present on them. Each wing features a white or pale gray orb-shaped spot at the center. 

The moths have a mottled coloring, similar to their close relatives, which makes it challenging to differentiate between them. The hindwings are light gray or whitish and have few markings.

The caterpillar of this moth feeds on various types of oak trees. It has an orange body with a thin, black line running along its “back.”

The orange-brown head is sparsely covered with wispy, white hairs, resembling the rest of its body.

The caterpillar may appear larger than its body size. It can go through two broods in a year.

Contrary to its name, the Afflicted Dagger is not actually afflicted with any condition. It is a nocturnal moth that is attracted to light during the night.

You can find them in forests, woodlands, and even parks or gardens with oak trees.

3. Ambiguous Moths

Ambiguous Moths
by ryan.f.mandelbaum is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Have you heard of or encountered Ambiguous moths, Litter moths?

These types of moths in Florida are small and have a somewhat triangular shape when their wings are spread flat, thanks to a long nose or snout at the front of their face.

They are brown or light brown with a hint of purple. Males appear slightly bolder and darker compared to females.

Males have a straight, dark band that crosses the wings near the hairy thorax, separating the lighter head/thorax area from the darker portion of the wings.

The bottom of each male forewing has a notch with a round black spot. Females lack this darker band and notch. 

Males also possess a curved white dash near the outer edge of the wings, while in females, this dash is broken into smaller fragments.

Both genders display an angled, dark smudge in the corner tip of each forewing. Their legs are dark brown with white bands at the joints and along the feet.

The larvae of Ambiguous moths are either dark brown with a thin white line along the rear “spine” or muted green with pairs of black dots in each segment on the top of their bodies.

Narrow yellow-orange bands may separate the segments. 

A faint diamond-shaped pattern can be observed along the dorsal side. The face of the larvae is dark but has a mottled design.

They feed on mums, ragweed, and horseradish. The moths lay tiny, translucent spherical eggs on the leaves of their host plants. Two broods are produced by Ambiguous months each year.

4. American Dagger Moths

American Dagger Moths
by Lior Carlson is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Next on our list of types of moths in Florida is the American Dagger moth, the largest among the Dagger moths, measuring over 50 mm (2 inches) in length.

This moth species is primarily found east of the Rocky Mountains.

It is most active during the spring to early autumn and can be spotted in areas with deciduous trees, such as parks, backyards, forests, and woodlands.

While the adult American Dagger moth may appear plain compared to its larval form, it possesses charming qualities.

Its wings and upper legs are covered in grayish-white hairs. Faint black lines zigzag along the forewings, and each wing has a thin, black ring near its edge.

A white band gracefully curves along the lower part of the forewings, and the wings’ bottom edges feature a black and white checkered fringe.

The caterpillar of the American Dagger moth displays a more striking appearance and size. Like adult moths, it reaches approximately 50 mm (2 inches) in length.

The caterpillar is entirely covered in bright yellow-green bristles. Four clusters of long black bristles resembling eyelashes extend from the body near the head and midsection.

Another cluster of these exceptionally long black bristles emerges near the rear of the caterpillar. 

These bristles can break off and embed themselves into the skin, causing a stinging sensation due to the toxins stored within them.

Many curious children have unknowingly picked up these large, fuzzy, brightly colored creatures and subsequently experienced a burning and itching sensation on their skin, which can develop into a rash. 

These irritating larvae feed on the leaves of various popular trees in neighborhoods, such as oak, ash, elm, alder, willow, and maple.

You can’t believe that they can often be found on the ground near these trees.

Since their food source is typically nearby backyard and schoolyard areas, the chances of encountering them are relatively high.

The presence of the American Dagger caterpillar serves as a compelling reason to “Look it up before you pick it up.”

5. American Ermine Moths

American Ermine Moths
by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The American Ermine moth is a bright white insect adorned with black dots, similar to a Dalmatian dog.

Examining the number and arrangement of these dots can help differentiate this species from other similar ones within its genus, although it can still be a challenging task. 

Unlike other types of moths in Florida, the American Ermine moths have more black dots, forming three or four lines along its forewings.

When visible, the hindwings are predominantly white. The moth’s face is hairy and white, featuring two large black eyes, while its legs are white.

The caterpillars of this species are mostly white with yellow blotches near their feet. They also possess black dots and a dark line along their “spine.” 

They feed on running strawberry bushes and low-growing leafy shrubs in woodland areas. Additionally, they may be found on wild viburnum plants.

Adult American Ermine moths are active during the summer and can be spotted in locations where their host plants grow, such as gardens, backyards, and parks.

6. Angus Datana Moths

Angus Datana Moths
by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren is licensed under CC BY 2.0

You come across Angus’ Datana moths, whose adult form could easily be mistaken for a dry, curled leaf.

These moths are brown and feature thin, dark lines that crisscross their bodies, resembling leaf veins. 

Above their heads is a dark, fuzzy patch of reddish-brown hair. From a distance, this patch creates the illusion of the inner shadow of a curled leaf.

Since this species can be found on oak, willow, and other trees, their ability to blend into the tree trunk is advantageous.

In contrast, the caterpillars of Angus’ Datana moths exhibit a completely different color and appearance. Astonishingly, they belong to the same species. 

The caterpillars are black with a black head and neck. Bright, slender white lines extend along the entire length of their bodies, from the head to the rear. Each segment of the caterpillar also features tufts of white whiskers.

They feed on the leaves of apple, oak, birch, and willow trees and can be found anywhere these trees are growing.

7. Army Cutworm Moths

Army Cutworm Moths
by xpda is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Army Cutworm moths are also one of the types of moths in Florida.

As a reader, you might be interested to know that the Army Cutworm moths, particularly like various grass types, including young wheat crops. 

This moth, also known simply as the Army Cutworm, is a grayish-brown larva with a worm-like appearance.

It chews down blades of grass and can even create “window pane” patterns while feeding.

This results in a disheveled and untidy appearance for the plants, causing inconvenience for crop growers. 

The caterpillars of this species are plump and feature pairs of small black dots along a wide, lighter stripe on their backs. As they mature, long and thin stripes begin to form.

This moth’s adult form is also called a Miller moth, as its dusty appearance resembles flour in a mill.

The light brown moths cannot withstand cold winters in the northern part of their habitat range.

Therefore, it migrates northward every summer, even into the mountains, to feed on wildflowers in those regions.

The eggs are laid in the warmer southern areas. When the larvae hatch, they travel beneath the soil surface at night, moving to new areas with available food once their current location is completely consumed.

Farmers regularly inspect their fields to stay informed about any damage caused by the cutworms, especially if it becomes severe and requires management or control measures.

8. Ash-Tip Borer Moths

Ash-Tip Borer Moths
by D. Gordon E. Robertson is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Have you encountered the Ash-Tip Borer moths with a golden brown coloration? On each forewing, three white spots are located on the upper half. The outer two spots are larger than the middle one. 

A larger white mark resembles a cracked egg with yolk running through the middle. You can also spot two individual white dots in the furry thorax of the moths.

These types of moths in Florida are active during late summer through autumn and are primarily active at night.

The caterpillars of the Ash-Tip Borer are categorized as cutworms due to their slicing ability and worm-like body structure.

After hatching, these caterpillars cut into the soft stems and twigs of ash trees and boxelder bushes.

They remain there, feeding on the host plant until they reach the pupal stage.

9. Crocus Moths

Crocus Moths
by ryan.f.mandelbaum is licensed under CC BY 2.0

You might have encountered various species of Crocus moths, which have a yellow coloration with similar brown speckled marks.

While the geographic range can provide some clues, examining these closely related moths is necessary to differentiate them accurately physically. 

Due to the possibility that the photos in the gallery might belong to a different species, they could also be displayed in other Crocus moths galleries.

The individuals within the species exhibit some variation in the size of their dark markings, with some displaying markings that appear more purple than brown.

The caterpillars of Crocus moths are adept at mimicking twigs, much like the larvae of many Geometer moths.

They are slender and can be either green or brown in color. When threatened, they adopt a stiff posture. That resembles a new and young twig. 

Although this clever tactic aims to deceive predators and discourage them from attacking, the caterpillars feed on the leaves of trees such as elm and maple and shrubs like rose, goldenrod, and viburnum.

Depending on the species, one or two broods can be produced each year.

10. Banded Tussock Moths

Banded Tussock Moths
by gailhampshire is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Banded Tussock moths are one whose adult form displays striking turquoise, white, and yellow stripes running down their thorax.

Two alternating shades of light brown bands can be seen along the length of its wings. The moths have thin, yellow legs. 

Interestingly, it looks identical to the Sycamore Tussock moths of the same genus, and only a thorough anatomical examination can truly differentiate between the two.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to perform such an inspection through a photograph on this website, as the photos attributed to this moth also include those of the Sycamore Tussock moths. 

Adult Banded Tussock moths consume the liquids of decaying plants that are rich in alkaloid compounds.

They retain these chemicals internally, which makes them unappetizing to potential predators. 

This reputation likely helps reduce the threat they face from predators. Their caterpillars may also benefit from this chemical protection.

While many people can safely handle this caterpillar, some individuals with sensitive skin may experience a reaction upon contact.

The caterpillars of the Banded Tussock moths are covered in long yellow hairs.

Near the head, there are a pair of exceptionally long black bristles resembling eyelashes and two sets of white bristles.

The rear of the caterpillar also features a pair of long black lashes. 

These caterpillars feed on the foliage of various trees, such as oak, alder, birch, willow, elm, and ash.

Perhaps due to their diverse diet and arrival later in the season, Banded Tussock moths larvae tend not to cause significant damage to their host plants.

11. Black-dotted Ruddy Moths

Black-dotted Ruddy Moths
by atlnature is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Black-dotted Ruddy moths are also one of the types in Florida, with slight variations in color between individuals.

Some may have a darker or warmer brown hue compared to others. Many of these moths exhibit a distinct feature, a single black dot on each wing, which is easily visible. 

However, some individuals may lack these dots and instead have flecks of brown scattered across their wings. Regarding antennae, females have smooth ones, while males possess comb-like teeth.

The wings of these moths in Florida display three darker lines that curve across them, although they may not be readily noticeable.

The caterpillar of the Black-dotted Ruddy moths, also known as the Holly Looper, can be a nuisance, particularly in the southeastern U.S. It feeds on the leaves of American holly trees and shrubs. 

As it crawls, it forms small loops or circles with its body, hence the name “Looper.”

This slender green caterpillar has three pairs of true legs near its head and two pairs of prolegs near its rear end, but none in between.

More mature caterpillars may have small black dots along the sides of their bodies.

12. Black-waved Flannel Moths

Black-waved Flannel Moths
by Wildreturn is licensed under CC BY 2.0

You might have the Black-waved Flannel moths, characterized by their long, creamy-colored hairs.

Each forewing showcases three wavy black lines along the outer edge, accompanied by two black splotches at the end of these lines.

Additionally, thicker, brown, wavy lines can be observed on the inner part of each forewing. 

Females appear paler compared to males, with the males sometimes displaying a yellow hue. The moth’s thorax is covered in plush, long hairs, and its pale, hairy legs feature black feet.

The wings are adorned with shiny hairs that have an almost crimped appearance. 

They appear incredibly soft and tempt you to touch them. However, it’s important to avoid touching the caterpillar form of this moth, as it can lead to a visit to the hospital.

The oval-shaped caterpillar of the Black-waved Flannel moth is covered in long hairs that can be either orange-brown or white.

The white variation resembles a tuft of cotton or the head of a spent dandelion. 

In contrast, the orange-brown hairs are neatly groomed and lie flat along the caterpillar’s body.

Regardless of their color, these hairs are stinging hairs that can embed themselves into the skin, causing intense pain that worsens after initial contact. 

A red pattern that matches the outline of the caterpillar’s body may also be visible.

The symptoms caused by the venom injected by these hairs can vary, ranging from redness, pain that radiates to other body parts, and irritation to more severe reactions such as nausea, seizures, and muscle spasms. 

The severity of the reaction depends on the individual who is stung, the location of the sting, and the number of spines that become embedded in the skin.

Individuals with allergies are especially at risk and should immediately seek medical attention from a physician.

Treatments for this condition may include using tape to remove any remaining hairs from the skin, applying ice to the affected area, using hydrocortisone cream, taking anti-histamines, prescribed painkillers, and/or receiving corticosteroid injections.

13. Blinded Sphinx Moths

Blinded Sphinx Moths
by Wildreturn is licensed under CC BY 2.0

There is a fascinating characteristic found in many moths and butterflies, which is eyespots.

These are circular patches of vibrant color that usually have a black dot at their center, resembling a pupil.

The Blinded Sphinx moth possesses a distinctive feature, a large blue eyespot on its hindwing that is only visible when the wings are spread open. 

Interestingly, this eyespot lacks a pupil, which sets it apart. If a human eye lacks a pupil, vision is severely impaired.

This unique trait led to its intriguing common name. However, it’s important to note that Blinded Sphinx moths have functioning eyes on their heads and can see just as well as any other moths.

The appearance of Blinded Sphinx moths is quite distinctive. They are medium brown with darker patches in the center of their forewings.

In some cases, a purple overlay may cover these darker patches. The bottom edges of the forewings are gracefully curved, adorned with a thin white and brown border. 

The smaller hindwings exhibit an unusual bulge at the outer tips, creating a peculiar silhouette when the larger wings are not covering them.

Apart from the striking blue eyespots, the hindwings also display bright pink coloring near the body. The bottom edges of the wings are scalloped, adding to their unique appearance.

As caterpillars, Blinded Sphinx moths are soft and green. They primarily feed on the leaves of various deciduous trees, such as birch, poplar, black cherry, willow, and basswood.

Despite a soft horn or spike at the rear, these caterpillars are safe to handle.

When they are young, their green coloration allows them to blend in seamlessly with the surrounding foliage, providing some protection against hungry birds and parasitic wasps. 

In the fall, they undergo pupation and create a brown cocoon among dead leaves, effectively camouflaging themselves from potential predators.

They will emerge as winged adults in the spring. It’s worth noting that adult Blinded Sphinx moths do not engage in feeding activities.

Their sole focus is on reproduction. They are nocturnal creatures and are often attracted to artificial lights during the night.

14. Bold Medicine Moths

Bold Medicine Moths
by cotinis is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

You might find it fascinating that the bold and unmistakable colors on the wings of this moth contribute to its striking name.

However, the connection between anything medicinal and its common name remains unclear. 

Despite its small size, this orange and white moth leaves a significant visual impact. A glassy reflection covers its body, creating a sheen that is most prominent when viewed from oblique angles.

The forewings of this moth feature an orange-brown color interrupted by a white band crossing the upper portion, as well as large white spots and dashes on the lower part. When at rest with its wings flat, the hindwings are often visible.

They exhibit a large white circle on the bottom edge, adorned with dark spots in the center.

Additionally, the hindwings boast a checkered pattern of black, white, and orange along the bottom edge. All the wings of this moth have a long, wispy white fringe.

Information about the Bold Medicine moths’ life history, diet, and larvae remains unknown.

Further research is necessary to understand this captivating and shiny gem of moths comprehensively.

15. Boxwood Leaftier Moths

Boxwood Leaftier Moths
by Anita363 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

You’ll notice distinct features when you encounter an adult Boxwood Leaftier moth.

On the middle of its legs, around the ‘knees,’ there are noticeable tufts of black, brown, and white hairs. Its forewings are predominantly brown, spanning the center with a curved white line.

Near the head, you may spot orange patches on the upper part of the forewing, reminiscent of certain Leaf-footed, Seed, and Largid plant bugs. 

To be real with you, while at rest, this moth lays its wings flat, but its long legs may still be visible, offering a glimpse of its peculiar profile where the head is elevated above the rest of its body.

The body stance and wing shape of the Boxwood Leaftier moths also resemble that of plant bugs.

Although boxwood plants are not native to North America, this native moth has readily embraced the shrub as its host plant, making it an essential component of its life cycle.

You can often find Boxwood Leaftier moths near boxwood shrubs, commonly used to create garden borders, property boundaries, or privacy hedges. 

The female moths lay fertilized eggs on the plant, and as the larvae hatch, they start feeding on the boxwood leaves to sustain their growth and development.

These caterpillars employ silk to tie off leaves, allowing them to dry out before consuming the remaining plant material.

16. Brown Panopoda Moths

Brown Panopoda Moths
by Wildreturn is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Brown Panopoda moths are one of the types of moths in Florida.

When you come across the Brown Panopoda months, you will notice a medium brown coloration and a distinctive marking on each forewing.

This unique marking consists of a single black dot and a capital ‘L’ shape with a curvy bottom. 

Interestingly, when these markings are viewed together, they resemble the symbol commonly associated with someone typing on a laptop, often seen on Wi-Fi signage in airports, libraries, and cafes.

However, it’s worth noting that the ‘L’ part of the mark may vary in size, fade, or even be absent in certain individuals. 

When the wings of the Brown Panopoda moths are open and spread out, you will see two long, thin, wavy lines that flow through the center and lower parts of all four wings.

Additionally, there is a short, thin line near the ‘shoulders’ of the wings, but it does not cross the body.

The caterpillars of this moth are a vibrant leafy green color and are covered in tiny dots from head to rear. Their ‘feet’ exhibit an orange hue.

These caterpillars primarily feed on the leaves of hickory trees and are believed to also consume foliage from basswood, oak, and willow trees. 

The adult moths are active in flight throughout the summer, with a longer flight period in the southern parts of their habitat range. They are nocturnal creatures and are attracted to lights at night.

You can often find them in parks, woodlands, and residential areas where the host trees are growing.

17. Buck Moths

Buck Moths
by Bettina Arrigoni is licensed under CC BY 2.0

When you come across a Buck moth, you’ll notice its impressive wingspan, belonging to the Giant Silkworm and Royal moths family.

The wings of this moth spread out wide, and the upper side of each wing is a rich black color, adorned with a thick white line.

On the forewings, this white line is interrupted by a yellow crescent-shaped dash encircled in black, resembling a closed eyespot. 

This yellow crescent sits within the thick white band on the underside of the forewings.

The thorax region is furry and black, with a white band near the head and two red spots near the wing joint.

The black legs have furry cuffs of red on the upper parts. The abdomen is thick and black, covered in fine white hairs.

In males, the abdomen ends with a plume of red-orange hairs, while in females, it has black hairs.

All individuals possess sharp bristles that protrude from their entire body, causing redness, itching, irritation, and pain if touched.

These stinging hairs are something to be cautious of. Buck moths larvae feed on the leaves of oak trees, one of the most common tree species across the continent.

If you’re looking for Buck moths, watch for their round white eggs clustered on branches, forming a cuff or ring-like structure.

When the larvae hatch, they may stay together for a while, feeding as a group, but eventually, they will venture off individually. 

They will move to the ground to pupate, and this stage can last from one to two years before they emerge as adults.

It’s important to note that adults lack fully developed mouthparts and do not eat. Their focus is solely on reproduction. 

To spot adults and caterpillars, explore areas where oak trees grow, whether in the wild forests or more developed locations like neighborhoods and parks.

Remember to exercise caution and avoid touching the spiky caterpillar to prevent unwanted encounters.

18. Cecropia Silkmoths

Cecropia Silkmoths
by ikewinski is licensed under CC BY 2.0

To tell the fact, when you sight the Cecropia Silkmoths, you cannot help but be amazed by their sheer size.

This native moth has a wingspan of approximately 15 cm (around 6 inches), which can easily cover the palm of a large hand. 

The moth’s body and head are brown, contrasting with the hairy orange and white appearance.

Each forewing and hindwing showcases an ivory mark surrounded by an orange and black ring in the center of the brown area, near the center of all the wings, and you will find intersecting white and orange lines.

A striking black and blue eyespot is at the upper corner of the forewing. The edges of the wings feature an undulating border in ivory and beige.

The legs of these types of moths in Florida are furry and brightly colored in a red-orange hue.

The caterpillars of the Cecropia Silkmoths go through five instars, each stage having a slightly different appearance.

In the early stages, the caterpillars are entirely black with spiky black hairs. As they progress, their coloration becomes pale with black hairs and dots.

Later on, they turn green with yellow bumps adorned with black spikes. 

When the caterpillars mature, they become plump and fleshy, with light blue thorns instead of bumps.

After forming a silk cocoon on the stem of a host plant, the magnificent adult moths emerge.

The Cecropia Silkmoths caterpillars feed on various host plants, including popular trees like maple, willow, oak, and pine, and flowering plants like honeysuckle.

The population of Cecropia moths faces several threats, including parasites that consume the caterpillars from the inside out, viral pathogens, predation by squirrels, pollution, unintentional insecticide poisoning, and habitat loss due to urbanization.

These factors contribute to the challenges these types of moths face in Florida.

19. Cinnabar Moths

Cinnabar Moths
by Nick Goodrum Photography is licensed under CC BY 2.0

When you come across the Cinnabar moths, you’ll notice their striking black and red appearance.

Interestingly, these types of moths in Florida were intentionally brought over from Europe. The reason behind this deliberate import is quite fascinating. 

The caterpillar of the Cinnabar moths has a unique diet as it feeds on Tansy Ragwort, a European weed. That poses a threat to cattle, horses, and other animals that graze in open fields.

This weed contains toxins that can be harmful, even making the honey produced from the plant taste bitter.

The introduction of the Cinnabar moths has proven to be a beneficial solution in controlling the growth of this troublesome weed.

Regarding reproduction, the females of the Cinnabar moths lay their eggs underneath the leaves of the Tansy Ragwort plant.

The caterpillars hatch from these eggs and begin feeding on the leaves. Thankfully, they don’t stop there.

They also munch on the plant’s flowers, significantly reducing its ability to reproduce. As the caterpillar matures, it transforms.

It develops a bold and eye-catching pattern of black and yellow bands on its body, making it quite distinctive.

They play a crucial role in managing the growth of the Tansy Ragwort weed, which in turn helps protect the grazing animals and prevent the spread of this noxious plant.

20. Clover Hayworm

Clover Hayworm
by aarongunnar is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Next on our list of types of moths in Florida is Clover Hayworm. When you come across a Clover moth, you will notice that its overall color ranges from wine-purple to deeper shades of purple.

The forewings are adorned with a wide yellow fringe along their bottom edges. 

Each wing has two yellow angled marks on the outer edge. Faint yellow lines gracefully curve across the wings, connecting the left and right spots.

These colors and markings bear similarities to those observed in the Pink-fringed Dolichomia and the Yellow-fringed Dolichomia moth.

The Clover Hayworm moth has large eyes and yellow legs, adding to its distinctive appearance.

The caterpillar of this moth is known as the Clover Hayworm. It derives its name from its feeding habits. Their primary target is Clover hay, harvested and bundled for horse feed.

These larvae worm their way into haystacks and cover them with silk produced by the caterpillar.

Inside the haystacks, they feed on the leaves of the clover plant, ultimately damaging the bundled hay.

In some cases, infestations can occur within hay barns, making them an agricultural pest.

It’s important to note that the caterpillars also have a taste for other dried plant matter, so homes that incorporate dried flowers or use dried herbs as decorations may also experience activity from these caterpillars.

The Clover Hayworm moths and their larvae are not considered a nuisance in their natural environment.

21. Yucca Moths

Yucca Moths - Types of Moths in Florida
by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

When it comes to yucca and agave plants, you might be surprised to learn that they are not originally found in all areas where they are commonly seen as ornamental plants.

These types of moths in Florida are actually native to arid and semi-arid regions of the continent. 

Due to their popularity, they have been cultivated in regions where they wouldn’t naturally grow. And wherever you find yucca and agave plants, you will likely find Yucca moths.

Yucca moths have an interesting relationship with yucca plants. They rely on these plants for their larvae to feed on, while the yucca plants depend on the moth for pollination.

This symbiotic relationship is quite remarkable because these types of moths in Florida don’t exploit the plant like other insects might.

When the yucca plant begins to bloom, male and female Yucca moths emerge. 

Unlike most other types of moths in Florida, their focus is not on feeding but on reproduction.

The female collects pollen from one flower and lays a small number of eggs in the ovary of that same yucca plant as long as no other female has already done so. Afterward, she moves on to another yucca plant to lay more eggs. 

Along the way, she ensures that some pollen is delivered to the stigma of a flower, guaranteeing the development of seeds for her offspring once they hatch.

By being conservative in the number of eggs, she lays, the yucca plant still has enough seeds for its own reproduction after the larval moths have finished feeding on them.

This mutual practice allows both species to have offspring the following year, ensuring their continued existence.


In conclusion, Florida is home to many moth species, showcasing the state’s rich biodiversity.

From the stunning and iconic Luna moths with their green wings and long tails to the discreet and well-camouflaged Owlet moths that blend seamlessly with their surroundings, Florida offers a habitat for various moths species to thrive.

The wide range of habitats found in Florida, including forests, wetlands, and coastal areas, provides ample opportunities for these types of moths in Florida to establish their populations.

Whether it’s the large and majestic Sphinx moths that are active at dusk or the colorful and patterned Tiger moths that can be found throughout the day

Florida’s moth fauna offers a fascinating glimpse into these nocturnal creatures’ intricate and diverse world.

Exploring the different types of moths in Florida can be a rewarding experience, allowing you to appreciate the beauty and ecological importance of these often-overlooked moths in Florida State.

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