Life history, taxonomy and ecology of the Faithful Beauty Moth Composia fidelissima vagrans (Lepidoptera, Erebidae, Pericopina) in the Pine Rocklands of South Florida


  • Tiffany Moore
  • Frank Ridgley
  • Steven Whitfield
  • Summer Sayre


We describe the life history of the faithful beauty moth, Composia fidelissima vagrans Bates (Erebidae: Arctiini), based on individuals from the Richmond pine rocklands, Miami, Florida (Miami-Dade County, USA). We describe the life stages descriptively and quantitatively, and characterize larval development, growth, and duration based on a series of growth trials in an ambient laboratory. Using specimens in natural history collections, we provide comparative images of all three species in the genus Composia Hübner for the first time, which may help with systematic efforts to delineate species and subspecies in the genus. In addition, we provide images of the egg, larval instars and pupa of Composia fidelissima vagrans. We also provide comments on the ecology of the species, including seasonal patterns of appearance. Finally, while Echites umbellatus Jacquin (Apocynaceae) has been described previously as the only native host plant, we report four additional genera within the Apocynaceae.