Mournful Thyris moth, Thyris sepulchralis - stock photo
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Mournful Thyris moth, Thyris sepulchralis

The small, day-flying, Mournful Thyris moth, Thyris sepulchralis, feeding on scat of a ringtail, Bassariscus astutus. The scat is filled with iridescent exoskeleton parts of the fiery searcher ground beetle, Calosoma scrutator. The ringtail is a relative of the raccoon and is sometimes incorrectly called ringtail cat. Another local name for it is cacomistle. Fiery searchers secrete a noxious fluid when attacked that protects them from many predators, but seems ineffective against ringtails. Ringtails mark their territory by placing their scat in conspicuous places, as on the dirt road where this one was photographed. Ringtails range over a large area of the Southwest, preferring rocky habitats. Photo taken Parker Co., TX

Science Source / Nature's Images, Inc.

5120 x 3427 pixels

Print Size @ 300 dpi
17 x 11 inches / 43 x 29 cm

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