What Large Long Narrow White Moth or Butterfly Has a Thin Yellow Edge to Its Body?

This showy white insect is a moth not a butterfly although it does fly in the daytime. The “veins” on the wings are quite noticeable and there is a fine yellow line along the outer edge of the folded wings that continues almost to where the wing makes a 90 degree turn. The body of the moth has quite distinct markings as shown in the photos. This is a Delicate Cycnia moth.

Photo of Delicate Cycnia Moth Full Underside on NaturalCrooksDotCom

It’s Not a Delicate Cynthia Moth

For a few months, I was convinced the name of this moth was a Delicate Cynthia. In fact, I quite like that name. Unfortunately for me, it’s actually a Delicate Cycnia. I’m not even sure how to pronounce that!

Photo of Delicate Cycnia Moth Top View on NaturalCrooksDotCom

Do Delicate Cycnia Moths Make Sounds?

I always think of moths as being silent creatures except for the sound of large Sphinx moths bashing against a window screen in the evening. These Cycnia moths, however, reportedly make a clicking sound. The purpose is still being studied. It may prevent a bat’s signals from detecting the moth properly, or, more likely it may be a warning to bats that the moth is poisonous due to the chemicals it accumulated as a caterpillar from eating dogbane and milkweed. You can read about this in a BBC article called Four animals that trick their opponents with sound.

Photo of Delicate Cycnia Moth Fuzzy But Head on NaturalCrooksDotCom

What Do the Delicate Cycnia Caterpillars Eat?

First, I hope I find some of their caterpillars some day. They look like a type of Wooly Bear.
According to BugGuide they feed on milkweed and Dogbane (Indian Hemp.) So I guess I should connect this to my other articles on Milkweed predators!

Photo of Delicate Cycnia Moth Underside on Flower on NaturalCrooksDotCom

Related Reading

  • White-spotted Black Moths
  • White-striped Sable Moths

Milkweed Predators:

  • Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars
  • Monarch Butterfly Caterpillars
  • Red Milkweed Beetles
  • Milkweed Bugs

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