The Wild Life of the Black-and-Yellow Lichen Moth

Order| Lepidoptera

Species| Lycomorpha pholus

Uh-ah, you know what it is—the Black-and-Yellow Lichen Moth!

“Wait, black and yellow? They’re clearly orange-er, right?”

Who knows what they were thinking. One thing’s for sure though, mimicry is their flex. As caterpillars, when they spend most of their time munching on a symbiotic snack of lichen, they texturally and visually resemble their num-nums—like if I looked like a hot bowl of Pho 🍲!

As adults, they resemble toxic Calopteron beetles (pictured below). It helps that they too are also toxic, as their aposematic coloration would suggest to any bird or other maybe-muncher. It’s really a win-win-win!

Calopteron P1200148b

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