Mint-loving Pyrausta

I was going to make this post about my visit to the grasslands yesterday, but changed my mind this afternoon when I found this visitor on my backdoor. (I am easily distracted.)The Mint-loving Pyrausta (Pyrausta acrionalis) sat there for sometime. There are 61 species of the genus Pyrausta in America north of Mexico. Their larva feed on mint plant species. This is the family of Lamiaceae. This includes quite a few plants in our area. Those in the Lamiaceae family have square stems, opposite leaves, and 2 or 4 stamens attached to the corolla tube. Some of the genera we have in our area are Hedeoma, Monarda, and Salvia.

This is about 8mm across! Its antennas are sweep back along its abdomen. How can you not love the colors.

I love it eyes and snout!

Looking down on it. I left it in situ to get its photo. I’m sure it appreciated that.

Horsemint (Monarda citriodora) belongs in the Lamiaceae family.

So I looked to see what I could find on it when I took Gracie for afternoon walk. Here is a green Geometer caterpillar.

Here is another Geometer caterpillar.

On this one I found a Geometer caterpillar and a small beetle.

While I was taking photos of the Monarda, this Two-lined Spittlebug landed on my pants.

I tried to look up what caterpillars of Mint-loving Pyrausta looked like, but I could not find any photos of it. I did find other photos of the caterpillars in that genus. They all had five pairs of prolegs. So I did not find any in that genus.

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Keep looking!


  1. I recently had a Southern Purple Mint Moth Pyrausta laticlavia in my cabin. Very similar and both so pretty! I need to send you my spittlebug photo. It was the nymph stage and have not been able to ID it. It could be this one or at least similar but could not get it pinned down for sure since nymph photos are impossible to find.

    1. I have seen the one you mentioned and the all pink one P. inornatalis. Another beauty. I guess if you needed another project you could try to raise one. I don’t so I won’t be raising one Ha ha!

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