Pyrrolizidine alkaloid deters ant predators of, Hare JF, Eisner T. 1995. Leguminosae (Fabaceae). Plants Database 2005. Bella moths play an important role in controlling these toxic plant populations by feeding on the plant seeds, thereby reducing plant reproduction and benefiting livestock and farmers. Vuill. This plant is a host of the ornate bella moth, Utetheisa ornatrix (Linnaeus). 1990). 1981. Upon hatching, the young larvae feed on the foliage. 1980. Furthermore, females are able to control which sperm fertilize the eggs, and those from larger males are more likely to fertilize the eggs (Egan et al. Only four species of Crotalaria are native to the southeastern U.S. of which two occur in Florid… Records that list just a plant genus as host (eg Rosa), records that cite one unidentified species (Rosa sp.) Regnum Animale. If you want to see more of both butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera) in your yard, the addition of specific host plants is an empowering way to take an active role in supporting species diversity. Eggs are laid in clusters on the foliage. pp. Sourakov’s research follows in the footsteps of the late Thomas Eisner, a Cornell University scientist who became known as the father of chemical ecology. Although a variety of plants in the family Fabaceae are listed in the literature as hosts for the ornate bella moth (Covell 2005, Robinson et al. 2010, Tietz 1972), species in the genus Crotalaria (e.g., Figures 7 to 10) are without a doubt the major if not the only true hosts. The Allyn Museum of Entomology. Postcopulatory sexual selection in an arctiid moth (, Linnei C. 1758. Interesting, this native moth develops more quickly on native crotalaria species. 286-291. Moth host (bumblebee clearwing). Much of what we know about the biology of the ornate bella moth is due to the fascinating work of Thomas Eisner and his colleagues and graduate students. (In Latin). Vol. Photograph by Don Hall, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida. Larvae: The larvae are orange-brown with broad irregular black bands on each segment (Figure 3). 1988), the green lacewing Ceraeochrysa cubana (Hagan) (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) (Eisner et al. Luangsa-Ard J, Houbraken J, van Doorn T, Hong SB, Borman AM, Hywel-Jones NL, Samson RA. Ornate Bella Moth . Eisner T, Eisner M, Rossini C, Iyengar VK, Roach BL, Benedikt E, Meinwald J. Pheromonal advertisement of a nuptial gift by a male moth, Dussourd DE, Ubik K, Harvis CA, Resch J, Meinwald J, Eisner T. 1988. The ornate bella moth, Utetheisa ornatrix (Linnaeus), is one of our most beautiful moths (Figure 1). He found C. spectabilis growing in Micanopy Hammock in 2013 had its seeds depleted by the bella moths from July through October. Florida Museum of Natural History photo by Andrei Sourakov. The ornate bella moth is found from Connecticut westward to southeastern Nebraska, and southward to New Mexico, southeastern Arizona and Florida (Covell 2005, Powell & Opler 2009, North American Moth Photographers Group Undated). The adult ornate bella moth is highly variable in coloration which has resulted in confusion regarding its taxonomy and the assignment of many names to the numerous color "forms". Host plants are believed to be limited to members of the Crotalaria (Rattlebox) family of plants, the larva stores the alkaloids it receives from these plants making it toxic to potential predators, a trait that carries over to the adult moth. System Naturae. Also, the following six species of parasitoids have been reared from Utetheisa ornatrix pupae by Rossini et al. Photograph by Don Hall, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida. In the laboratory, Utetheisa ornatrix male larvae developed faster and resulted in larger adults, when raised on Crotalaria incana vs. Crotalaria lanceolata (2 species native to Africa). Getty Images/Kevin Dutton. His March 2015 study appearing in the Journal of Natural History reveals that the moth is changing its ecology, co-evolving as it adjusts to feeding on the seeds of several invasive exotic plant species. Photograph by Don Hall, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida. Tietz, HM. Criv.) Higher HD alkaloid levels in males is correlated with larger body size which is a heritable trait (Iyengar & Eisner 1999a&b). Connor WE, Roach B, Benedict E, Meinwald J, Eisner T. 1990. Adult moths live for about 4 days and do not feed. The male even shares some of the toxic chemical with the female during mating, which in turn makes her eggs taste disgusting to other insects. “The moth has always fed on native species of Crotalaria,” said Sourakov, showing a drawer with hundreds of bella moth specimens that he reared in the lab. Araujia hortorum. Female choice increases offspring fitness in an arctiid moth (, Iyengar VK, Eisner T. 1999b. pp. Bella Moth underwings. Leaves are green, hairless and dull on the top, and downy and paler grey/green underneath. “They affect their livers and their alkaloids even have been found to have DNA damaging effects.”. The mature dried fruit of Crotalaria rattles like a rattle snake when the pods are shaken or blown by the wind. Photograph by Don Hall, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida. Lepidopterist Andrei Sourakov with the Florida Museum of Natural History has been studying ornate bella moths, Utetheisa ornatrix, since 2010. The bella moth measures less than 2 inches, but it is vibrantly colored and active during the day and night. Chapter 10. This brightly colored moth gets toxic alkaloids from its host plant, and the alkaloid content tends to be higher in showy rattlebox than in the native species. 2016, LaMunyon & Eisner 1993). and Paecilomyces lilacinus Thom (Now: Purpureocillium lilacinum [Thom] {Luangsa-Ard et al. Rattlebox moth is our favorite, because it reflects the relationship between the bug and the group, or genus of plants called Crotalaria, on which it depends for survival. The name Crotalaria originates from the Greek root "crotal" which means "a rattle". Eggs have been demonstrated to be repellent to the spotted ladybird beetle Coleomegilla maculata DeGeer (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) (Dussourd et al. Moths of Western North America. Figure 6. Plant asters (genus aster) in your butterfly garden, and you'll attract any number of the 100-plus Lepidopteran larvae looking for this host.As an added benefit, asters bloom late in the season, giving migrating butterflies a much-needed energy source when other flowers are past their prime. Gainesville, Florida. Guimarães et al. Eisner T, Eisner M. 1991. Moth Vine Plant. Eggs of the ornate bella moth, Utetheisa ornatrix (Linnaeus). There are distinct white spots on the anterior and posterior margins of the black bands. This allows it to be witnessed more frequently than other moths, which are mostly modestly colored and nocturnal. A flower spike of lanceleaf rattlebox, Crotalaria lanceolata E. Mey, with carpenter ants feeding at extrafloral nectaries. Photograph by Don Hall, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida. In addition to sperm, males also transfer nutrients and HD to the female during mating via the spermatophore. The seeds contain alkaloids that are poisonous to some insects and other animals. Polyene pheromone components from an arctiid moth (. 1. Rampant, evergreen vine growing up to 8 m tall with smelly, milky sap and twining flexible stems that are covered in down and woody near the base. Lanceleaf rattlebox, Crotalaria lanceolata E. Mey, in fruit. 1980, Jain et al. Parentally provided alkaloid does not protect eggs of. Today in Florida, these exotic species often grow on abandoned farmland that has transformed into forest. After feeding briefly on foliage, the larvae move to the unripe pods which they bore into to feed on the seeds Upon reaching maturity, larvae migrate from the host plant to pupate in sheltered situations under loose bark on nearby trees, in thick vegetation, or in debris. However, cannibalism of pupae is minimized because larvae migrate off the host plant prior to pupation (Bogner & Eisner 1992). 1980) sex attractant pheromone - composed primarily of the 21 carbon triene (3 double bonds) chemical Z,Z,Z-3,6,9-heneicosatriene originating from glands at the tip of the female's abdomen. In northern regions, You are what you eat: native versus exotic Crotalaria species (Fabaceae) as host plants of the Ornate Bella Moth, Utetheisa ornatrix (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Arctiinae) Journal of Natural History: Vol. Meanwhile, in Cross Creek, the moths start flying as early as March, laying eggs on the early sprouts of the native C. rotundifolia. A plant name found only in Index Kewensis is in all probability archaic and such names are indicated where they occur below. 1983). The concentration of HD in the coremata is correlated with the amount of alkaloid carried by the males. Flip Through . This plant is a host of the ornate bella moth, Utetheisa ornatrix (Linnaeus). Heritability of body mass, a sexually selected trait in an arctiid moth (, Iyengar VK, Rossini C, Eisner T. 2001. 2015. The caterpillars of Utetheisa ornatrix, the ornate bella moth, feed on host plants in the genus Crotalaria (Fabales: Fabaceae), which, in Florida, encompasses 4 native and 10 introduced species. A moth friendly garden should be pesticide free. Part IV. (Report) by "Florida Entomologist"; Biological sciences Beans Diseases and pests Physiological aspects Insect-plant relationships Research Legumes Mimosaceae Moths Health aspects Adults are concentrated in patches of Crotalaria. Credits: Don Hall, UF/IFAS Figure 9. Semiochemicals of. The bella moth is one of the few insects that have evolved to use the Rattlebox as host due to the plants extreme toxicity (the plant is laced with pyrrolizidine alkaloids). It should also contain mulch, not rock. 1997. Fairchild’s writings suggest a variety of exotic rattlebox plants in the genus Crotalaria were introduced to South Florida about 100 years ago. 538-542. Much of what we know about the biology of the ornate bella moth is due to the fascinating work of Thomas Eisner and … (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae) (Bezzerides et al. A Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America. This work is summarized in his book, For Love of Insects (Eisner 2003, Chapter 10). Pictured on the flower of an exotic Crotalaria retusa, a tiny ornate bella moth, Utetheisa ornatrix, is changing its ecology as it adjusts to feeding on the seeds of this invasive plant. Credits: Don Hall, UF/IFAS Figure 8. Unlike most moths Bella are active during the day. These plants produce pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are toxic to many species, but not the ornate bella moth. They lay clusters of eggs on rattlepod plants (Crotalaria ... the leaves of host plants. Plant clippings and fallen leaves should be allowed to accumulate a little for safe hiding spots for moths … Contact … https://butterfly-conservation.org/moths/elephant-hawk-moth He’s observed the introduction of several rattlebox species, all with different morphology, ecology and chemistry, has resulted in a substantial expansion of the bella moth’s habitat and activity patterns. Figure 9. 1981, Dussourd et al. LaMunyon CW. The sweet smell of success. Chapter 62. pp. Habit and habitat - Adult Bella moths concentrate around Rattlebox plants… Eisner T. 2003. University of California Press. It is also found through Mexico and southward through Central (Powell & Opler 2009) and South America all the way to Argentina (Pease 1968) and throughout most of the Antilles (North American Moth Photographers Group Undated). Apportionment of nuptial alkaloidal gifts by a multiply-mated female moth (, Bezzerides A, Yong T-H, Bezzerides J, Husseini J, Ladau J, Eisner M, Eisner T. 2004. ), with flowers and fruit. McGuire Center for Lepidoptera & Biodiversity. His pioneering lab experiments involving bella moths revealed how insects use chemicals to attract mates as well as prey, and elude predators. United States Department of Agriculture. Today, some Crotalaria plants are still used as cover crops in the United States (mostly in the South), and around the world. A hit was the harmless hand capture and release of on of the beautiful gold, white, black, and vivid pink Bella Moth (often called Rattlebox Moth for its host plant). With his trademark spectacles and safari hat, David Fairchild, known as the Indiana Jones of botany, traveled the world during the early 1900s in search of plants and collected thousands of exotics and new varieties, like pistachios, mangos, dates, cotton and wheat, and introduced them to the United States. 92: 50-55. Free Online Library: Exotic Crotalaria species (Fabales: Fabaceae) as host plants of the ornate Bella moth, Utetheisa ornatrix (Lepidoptera: Erebidae), in Florida: laboratory biology. 348-384. Figure 7. They are also rejected by at least some vertebrates (e.g., the blue jay, Cyanocitta cristata [Linnaeus], and the Florida scrub jay, Aphelocoma coerulescens [Bosc]), (Eisner & Meinwald 1995), but not by the American toad, Bufo americanus Holbrook, (Now Anaxyrus americanus (Holbrook). Bella Moth - Utetheisa ornatrix Bella or Rattlebox Moths are one of the most colorful moths found in Florida. Chemical defense against predation in an insect egg. Full-grown larvae are 30-35 mm in length. Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida. utethesia bella hi, you may not remember me i sent you a few pictures about maybe 4 months ago of three different caterpillars, one of them was utethesia bella which i was able to take a picture of on it’s host plant, the photo is attached, and recently i found another caterpillar, i hope this image is a little clearer than the others were. Robinson GS, Ackery PR, Kitching IJ, Beccaloni GW, Hernández LM. I was surprised to find this moth in my yard because I don’t have the host plant for it, which is any number of species of wildflower in the genus Crotalaria, called … 2011. Smooth rattlebox, Crotalaria pallida Aiton var. The bella moth was eating the plant's poisonous seeds, which help it produce chemical defenses that make the moths and their eggs unpalatable to would-be predators. Not self-fruitful. Virginia Museum of Natural History. Need two plants to cross-pollinate. Taming a wild plant may not sound too ominous, unless you are a tiny moth and the plant is 8 feet tall and poisonous. Therefore, by selecting males with higher gifts of HD alkaloid, females are simultaneously selecting for increased male body size – a trait that will be passed on to her progeny. Adult ornate bella moths live approximately three weeks and females mate on average four to five times and as many as 13 times — each time receiving additional nutrients and alkaloids as nuptial gifts via the spermatophores. 2016. Only four species of Crotalaria are native to the southeastern U.S. of which two occur in Florida — Avon Park rattlebox (Crotalaria avonensis DeLaney & Wunderlin), which is restricted to Florida, and rabbitbells (Crotalaria rotundifolia J.F. 2005, Eisner & Meinwald 1995). Moths are attracted to gardens with a mix of plants that include grasses, flowers, shrubs and trees. Bella Moth Biology The Bella Moth is a colorful moth distributed throughout North and South America. Increased fecundity, as a function of multiple mating, in an arctiid moth, LaMunyon CW, Eisner T. 1993. Round, fleshy, orange to red berries appear in late summer. Linnaeus (Linnei 1758) originally described two species in the genus Phalaena — ornatrix (more whitish or pale specimens) and bella (brightly colored specimens), and Hübner later moved them to the genus Utetheisa. Plant-derived pyrrolizidine alkaloid protects eggs of a moth (, Bogner F, Eisner T. 1991. It is not clear if people who introduced rattlebox plants were aware they are poisonous to livestock and can become nuisance invasive exotics, sometimes completely overrunning the ecosystem. Fun for children of all ages. which are both native to Africa and Crotalaria spectabilis Roth which is native to Asia. Back to Family Page. 49, No. Sourakov continued searching for bella moths feeding on Crotalaria in the Gainesville area. A year later, he noticed the seasonal plant had dwindled more than 90 percent. However, the native and exotic species have very different habitat preferences, and seasonal patterns of growth.”. 2397-2415. He found the moth feeding on rattlebox in several different habitats in Gainesville throughout most of the year. Habeck DH. Ithaca, New York. Butterlies get most of the attention with their bright colors and sun-loving ways, but a variety of beautiful moths can be supported as well. This plant is a host of the ornate bella moth, Utetheisa ornatrix (Linnaeus). The pheromone also contains diene and tetraene forms (two and four double bonds, respectively) (Connor et al. Rossini C, Hoebeke ER, Iyengar VK, Conner WE, Eisner M, Eisner T. 2000. 1995. The Bella moths wing pattern is extremely variable, it is however the only moth in Florida that has a pink and yellow forewing with rows of black spots ringed in white. Adult ornate bella moth, Utetheisa ornatrix (Linnaeus), on fruit of lanceleaf rattlebox, Crotalaria lanceolata E. Mey. The pupae are encased in a brown and black sac covered in a light coat of silk. The alkaloids are retained in the pupal and adult stages and are ultimately passed on to the eggs. According to Fairchild, this particular plant was introduced from India around 1914. The pods resemble pea pods and rattle when the plant stem is moved. (2000) who reported an overall parasitism rate of 20% and suggested that pupal parasitism may be one of the chief causes of mortality in Utetheisa ornatrix: In laboratory studies (Storey et al. Utetheisa ornatrix, also called the bella moth, ornate moth or rattlebox moth is a moth of the subfamily Arctiinae.It is aposematically colored ranging from pink, red, orange and yellow to white coloration with black markings arranged in varying patterns on its wings. 2000),and the cavity-nesting ant, Leptothorax longispinosus Roger (Now Temnothorax longispinosus [Roger]) (Hare & Eisner 1993). Unpalatability of the pyrrolizidine alkaloid containing moth. Credits: Don Hall, UF/IFAS Figure 8. By late November, the plant was nearly dead. Why do larvae of, El-Sayed AM 2014. Forbes WTM. Powell JA, Opler PA. 2009. Today, the plant would control many Florida habitats if it weren’t for the tiny pinkish-red ornate bella moth keeping it at bay. 39-40, pp. Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station Memoir 329. University Press of Florida. thanks. In the laboratory, Utetheisa ornatrix male larvae developed faster and resulted in He discovered the culprit was the bella moth, which he observed eating seeds from pods that grow on the plant. Eisner’s lab experiments showed female bella moths are attracted to the same toxins in potential mates. This plant is a host of the ornate bella moth, Utetheisa ornatrix (Linnaeus). Asters come in a close second on our list of native caterpillar food plants. Figure 2. Photograph by Don Hall, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida. Because most of our common Crotalarias are introduced weedy species and toxic to cattle, the ornate bella moth plays a beneficial role by eating their seeds and suppressing their reproduction. Given the opportunity, ornate bella moth larvae are cannibalistic on conspecific eggs (Bogner & Eisner 1991, Hare & Eisner 1995) and pupae (Bogner & Eisner 1992). Free Online Library: Exotic Crotalaria species (Fabales: Fabaceae) as host plants of the ornate Bella moth, Utetheisa ornatrix (Lepidoptera: Erebidae), in Florida: laboratory biology. “But in this case, we have a rare success story. A common native host plant for these moths is the Crotalaria avonensis, a beautiful plant with yellow flowers. But the bella moth relies on these particular alkaloids to produce chemical defenses and pheromones. 2016. Wunderlin RP, Hansen BF. Immature seeds contain approximately five times the amount of pyrrolizidine alkaloid as the foliage (Ferro et al. A native species of moth does a good job of keeping these plants under control, and provides a great research model for me and my students.”. Photo by Don Hall from the UF/IFAS featured creatures website. A common native host plant for these moths is the Crotalaria avonensis, a beautiful plant with yellow flowers. Figure 1. 2006). 2004). 369 pp. Sourakov stumbled upon one of Florida’s 10 exotic species of rattlebox (there are four native species) in 2011 growing near the edge of a wooded area in northwest Gainesville. Dussourd DE, Harvis CA, Meinwald J, Eisner T. 1991. Sex attractant of an arctiid moth (. “Once a species is introduced, they may take on a life of their own,” said Sourakov, collections coordinator at the museum’s McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity on the University of Florida campus. Please contact us for permission to use. The caterpillars of Utetheisa ornatrix, the ornate bella moth, feed on host plants in the genus Crotalaria (Fabales: Fabaceae), which, in Florida, encompasses 4 native and 10 introduced species. Hare JF, Eisner T. 1993. Special Publication Number 12. But a nearby patch of native C. pumila became the new site of larval development for the moth. Leaves are arrowhead-like in shape (3-12 x 2-6 cm) and alternate on the stems. 2003. Precopulatory assessment of male quality in an arctiid moth (, Jain SC, Doussard DE, Conner WE, Eisner T, Guerrero A, Meinwald J. Showy rattlebox, Crotalaria spectabilis Roth., a host of the ornate bella moth, Utetheisa ornatrix (Linnaeus). The pupae are encased in a brown and black sac covered in a light coat of silk. Photograph by Don Hall, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida. Eggs: The eggs are white to yellow and spherical (Figure 2). Sourakov, with the help of UF undergraduate students, is now continuing to explore the ongoing coevolution of plants and moths. The lightly consumed C. retusa nearby became the new host plant, allowing the moth to continue to persist through December. The larger spermatophores of larger males would cause greater distension of the bursa. (Report) by "Florida Entomologist"; Biological sciences Beans Diseases and pests Physiological aspects Insect-plant relationships Research Legumes Mimosaceae Moths Health aspects “They can’t tell the difference between the native and the invasive species. Sourakov said species of rattlebox have also been occasionally documented to grow among crops, ultimately contaminating cereal consumed by humans, and herbs used in tea. A flower spike of lanceleaf rattlebox, Crotalaria lanceolata E. Mey, with carpenter ants feeding at extrafloral nectaries. But by late November each year, the plant had nearly disappeared. Parasitoids: The pyrrolizidine alkaloids do not always protect ornate bella moths from parasitoids. Whereas most arctiine larvae have verrucae (elevated wart-like areas on the cuticle) bearing many setae, Utetheisa larvae lack verrucae, and setae occur singly (Habeck 1987). Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA. 1987. While not all moth are pollinators, they do have unique realtionships with native plants, and provide an important food source for birds as well. The female herself also gains additional protection from predators due to the additional alkaloids from the male spermatophores (González et al. The male then lands beside her and copulates. Pupa of the ornate bella moth, Utetheisa ornatrix (Linnaeus). Credits: Don Hall, UF/IFAS Figure 9. Pupae: The pupae are black with irregular orange-brown bands and are covered with a loose layer of silk (Figure 4). Females measure the HD concentration of males and use that information for selecting males with the potential to donate the most pyrrolizidine alkaloids in the spermatophore (Conner et al. Alkaloid content of parasitoids reared from pupae of an alkaloid-sequestering arctiid moth (. 1983. Adults are approximately 1.5 inches in wingspan. Back to Species List. Although a variety of plants in the family Fabaceae are listed in the literature as hosts for the ornate bella moth (Covell 2005, Robinson et al. 2010, Tietz 1972), species in the genus Crotalaria (e.g., Figures 7 to 10) are without a doubt the major if not the only true hosts. Callosamia promethea, commonly known as the promethea silkmoth, is a member of the family Saturniidae, which contains approximately 1,300 species. (For chemical structures of Utetheisa ornatrix pheromones, see El-Sayed (2014). Photograph by Don Hall, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida. Also known as Moth Plant, Kapok Vine, Araujia Sericifera. Figure 8. The larvae often feed upon and destroy the seeds, a positive when it comes to weedy invasive plants. Adults: The adult ornate bella moth is a rather small moth (wingspan 3.0 to 4.5 cm). Chapel Hill. Unfortunately, species of Crotalaria are toxic to livestock due to the presence of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, and are potentially fatal. (2016) and the Plants Database (2005). It is also known as the spicebush silkmoth, which refers to is one of the promethea silkmoth's common host plants, spicebush (Lindera benzoin). 1960. In the laboratory, Utetheisa ornatrix male larvae developed faster and resulted in larger adults, when raised on Crotalaria incana vs. Crotalaria lanceolata (2 species native to Africa). This is a fascinating discussion about the ecological consequences of invasive plant introductions. A flower spike of lanceleaf rattlebox, Crotalaria lanceolata E. Mey, with carpenter ants feeding at extrafloral nectaries. Polyandrous females provide sons with more competitive sperm: Support for the sexy-sperm hypothesis in the rattlebox moth (. Photograph by Don Hall, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida. obovata (G. Don) Pohill (formerly Crotalaria mucronata Desv. All photographs are copywrited property. It is possible that the other host records are due to the habit of full-grown larvae to wander from the host plant (and often onto other species) prior to pupation. North American Moth Photographers Group (, Pease R. 1968. You are what you eat: native versus exotic Crotalaria species (Fabaceae) as host plants of the ornate bella moth, Storey GK, Aneshanslely DJ, Eisner T. 1991. Biparental defensive endowment of eggs with acquired plant alkaloid in the moth, Egan AL, Hook KA, Reeve HK, Iyengar VK. Host plants for the moth’s caterpillars are both native (four species) and non-native (10 species) Crotalaria, known as rabbit bells, as well as rattlebox for the rattling sound of ripened seed pods. Clusters of 2-4 bell-shaped creamy coloured flowers (20-25 mm diameter), occasionally with pink streaks, appear from December to May, followed by distinctive thick, leathery, pear-shaped choko-li…
2020 bella moth host plant