This week’s MotW will be a short one. Being one of my personal favorites, I was sorely disappointed that I couldn’t find more information on this moth. I also considered including Parasa chloris' rarer cousin,Parasa indetermina,but the two are so similar to each other that I decided against it. Nonetheless, I have included a caterpillar of the latter species in the photoset just to show the difference, and I hope you like this unique moth as much as I do. :)

Moth of the Week: The Smaller Parasa, Parasa chloris

Meet Parasa chloris, or the Smaller Parasa Moth. This North American critter comes from the family Limacodidae, or slug caterpillar moths. I have gone over this family before, but here they make their illustrious second appearance. Notice how similar the adult cup moth’s body structure is to the Parasa, although the latter’s cocoon is not cup-shaped.

The Smaller Parasa can be found throughout the United States, most notably the East. While widespread, they can be a bit hard to find, although they are not an endangered species. Other members of the Parasa genus live all over the world. The second most common US moth is Parasa indetermina, which looks almost… errr… indeterminable to its cousin except during the caterpillar stage. P. chloris is active from May to August. While its initial brood is huge, it does have at least one other after that, dispelling the myth that they only breed once per season. Pupae can overwinter. Their caterpillars, which feed off of trees such as apple, dogwood, elms, and oaks, stay in that stage for about six weeks. They can sting, although the irritation is more of an itch than painful. Seldom ever are they considered pests, except during rare outbreaks. 

Parasa Moths have been known to migrate, which is why they might occasionally be seen in such atypical venues such as Arizona. They like to live in forests and near wetlands where their host plants grow. Adults do not eat. Their green and brown coloring allow them to camouflage and hide from predators.

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