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Polka-Dot Wasp Moth-Syntomeida epilais 2-20111217 | by Kenneth Cole Schneider
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Polka-Dot Wasp Moth-Syntomeida epilais 2-20111217

Now this was scary! A big angry "wasp," the likes of which I had never before seen, almost flew in my face. It was obviously armed and dangerous, but I got close in to take its picture. When I got home I found it on the Internet to be a diurnal moth that does a great imitation of a wasp. The appearance acts as a warning to predators; while it does not sting, it is poisonous due to its diet as a caterpillar. Got a late start and birding was slow. The wetlands are still flooded, so the waders are widely dispersed. Fall migration has run its course, and winter sparrows (Swamp, Grasshopper and Savannah) have not shown up yet. Wood Storks are not around, so hopefully they are starting a successful breeding season after failures the past three years. Visit blog.rosyfinch.com

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Taken on December 17, 2011