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Turbulent phosphila (Phosphila turbulenta)

Order: Lepidoptera (le-pid-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Noctuidae (nok-TOO-ih-dee) (Info)
Genus: Phosphila
Species: turbulenta


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Gainesville, Florida
Waretown, New Jersey
Hockley, Texas

Members' Notes:


On Nov 1, 2014, Cremona from Neptune,
United States wrote:

A frequent defense strategy of many types of insects is to present a false head to would-be predators. This usually involves eye spots of some sort since we, and most vertebrate predators like birds, associate eyes with the head of an animal. By going after the head first, a bird is likely to immobilize its prey quickly and cut off any escape attempt.

A close look reveals the truth – the last three segments of the rear of the caterpillar are somewhat enlarged and have prominent white spots suggesting eyes. Ironically, the true head end of the larva also has false eye spots on the thorax. The true e... read more


On Jan 11, 2014, kittriana from Magnolia, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

owlet moths, cutworms and dart moths. tribe: apemeini did chow down on my parsley when he landed there...


On Nov 11, 2012, KanapahaLEW from Alachua, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is apparently an unremarkable brownish moth. I haven't seen the adult but came upon a large (30-40) cluster of approximately 3/4"-long caterpillars somewhat lined up in ranks and files on the leafless lower part of a mature Smilax (greenbrier) vine in dense woods. When I went back the following day to take a picture I could only find the single specimen in the photo. It is reported to range up and down the East Coast from NY to Florida and west to Illinois and Texas. Smilax is the host plant.