This very small and prettily colored day flying moth has appeared on the purple basil plants. So well did they blend into the flowering basil that they were only noticeable when I brushed against the container and they flew hither and yon...Yon being over to the next basil plant. Their shape reminds me of tiny pink stealth planes.
It seems that the Southern Crimson Moth's larval food is salvia! My best guess... It's hanging around its distant mint cousin, until the caterpillars hatch on the salvia...then chomp city! Stealth chompers.
The presence of caterpillars might explain why my Salvia coccinea 'Coral Nymph' hasn't had a flower bud yet! It looks stunted and unhappy. What a disappointment when it has always been a floriferous bloomer during these last months of summer.
There isn't much known about this little guy that I can locate. He can be found in two parts of the country. Maybe he's been transported across the state lines to other gardens! ...The map clearly shows the two locations where they are found~~ Texas and Tennessee. The area in Tennessee looks very close to Davidson County where the pretty moth is living on my basil plants! The stinkers.
But, there is one thing I know for certain! If it's planning on chomping on my Salvia azurea's buds, it's got another think coming! I've been watching the buds develop on these beauties for the last few weeks. Soon they will be blooming~~ Last year was their first summer in the garden and I wasn't disappointed...neither were the bees. As seen in this photo from the Summer of Love 2008~
Isn't it a scrumptious blue and the bees awfully adorable, too! You may not remember but, this photo was taken from a post I had lots of fun writing...My Sweet Embraceable You. Go here to see the post. I don't want anything to get in the way of those terrific blooms...Late summer visitors need the nectar and I need the colorful flowers. They make me smile when ever the bees stop by.
It certainly looks like I'm going hunting for very tiny caterpillars tomorrow! There will be no chomping of salvia buds in my garden.
Stealth chompers...you cannot fly under my gardener radar!