19 March 2012

Crimson-speckled Footman (Utetheisa pulchella)

The Crimson-speckled Footman (Utetheisa pulchella) is a small, day flying moth measuring approximately 30-40mm in length. They are mostly white, speckled with black and crimson and have characteristic black eyes. The legs are white in colour and the antennae are black. The moth is found from Africa to southern Europe, throughout the Middle East, central & southern Asia and Australia. They are migratory moths but I assume the ones I have been seeing in the last few days are residents?

They are seen every year in Dhahran in March and are not very easy to see until you flush one from its resting place and it flies to its new location. They very rarely, if ever, land with their wings spread and almost always end up in a position similar to that in the photograph above.