California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Ornate Tiger Moth - Apantesis ornata

This ornate tiger moth was resting deep within the dead foliage of Lambs Ears, Stachys byzantina or Betony. I was particularly impressed with the amount of hair or scales on the upper body of this moth. The antennae of the Ornate Tiger moths have an interesting toothed pattern. Ornate Tiger Moths are nocturnal. They are attracted to light. During the day they find a protected spot and wait it out. When Ornate Tiger Moths lay eggs it takes 5-12 days for the eggs to hatch into Wooly Bear Caterpillars.

One species of Wooly Bear Caterpillars turns into Ornate Tiger Moths after several months. A Wooly Bear Caterpillar will molt 5 times on its way to becoming an adult. At each molt the skin is shed. Each of these stages is called a first instar . . . second instar . . .The Wooly Bear Caterpillars feed on plants in the Mustard, Sunflower, Honeysuckle and Pea Families for several months before making a cocoon. You can feed the caterpillars lettuce if other foods are not available.

ornate tiger moth

The nocturnal Ornate Tiger Moth waits out the day in Lamb's Ears. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.