We suddenly have many Giant Leopard Moths hanging out on our back porch. We never had them around in the previous years we lived here. They are nocturnal, only flying at nighttime. They just sleep there on the back porch during the day. They are very pretty.
The Giant Leopard Moth or Eyed Tiger Moth (Hypercompe scribonia) is a moth of the family Arctiidae. It is distributed throughout the Southern and Eastern United States from New England to Mexico. The obsolete name Ecpantheria scribonia is still occasionally encountered.
This species has a wingspan of 3 inches (nearly 8 cm). The wings of this moth are bright white with a pattern of neat black blotches, some solid and some hollow. The abdomen is dark blue with orange markings, the male has a narrow yellow line on the sides. Its legs have black and white bands. Adult moths are strictly nocturnal and do not generally fly before nightfall (Fullard & Napoleone 2001).
The caterpillar is of the "Woolly Bear" kind, with a thick coat of black bristles (setae) and red or orange colored bands between its segments which become conspicuous when caterpillar rolls into a ball for defense.