|Parasa interermina- click to enlarge|
After a lot of web browsing, I came up with a fit, the Stinging Rose Moth, Parasa_indetermina. It has a wingspan of an inch and even on close inspection I can't find evidence of a head. Talk about camouflage- this moth should be a turkey hunter.
|A Headless Wonder|
If the moth is interesting, the caterpillar is spectacular. In fact, I had a hard time finding identifying the moth as 80% of pictures are of the caterpillar. "The head capsule is complete, but it is usually withdrawn and concealed in the prothorax,"* making it hard to see which end is the head if it isn't moving.
|Stinging Rose Caterpillars- Wikimedia|
While the moth depends on protective coloration, the cat practically screams at predators, "Come on, you want a piece of me? Give me your best shot!" The bright aposematic coloration warns predators "Don't even think about it Buster."
*The uark.edu site has more details as well as drawing showing the structure of urticating spines.
This species was reported to BAMONA, the first documentation in Christian County.