Unlike most moths that are nocturnal, the rattlebox moth, or more properly, the ornate bella moth, is active during the day. The larval host plant are members of the Crotalaria species, which explains the “rattle” in its name in Greek. According to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences: “The name Crotalaria originates from the Greek root “crotal” which means “a rattle”. It is the same root word as used in the genus name for rattle snakes, Crotalus. The mature dried fruit of Crotalaria rattles like a rattle snake when the pods are shaken or blown by the wind.”
This rattlebox moth was seen foraging for nectar in the Audubon House native plant garden at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area.
Its rapid flight is difficult to photograph but its wings are a brilliant pink color, some of which can be seen in this image.