Texas Lep Information

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Faithful Beauty (a.k.a. Uncle Sam Moth)

Composia fidelissima Herrich-Schäffer, 1866

Family Arctiidae, Subfamily Arctiinae, Tribe Pericopini


Faithful Beauty - Composia fidelissima

Blue iridescence on hindwings & abdomen is a structural color

Specimens curated in the TAMUIC

Range: U.S. range per Kimball (1965):

The species is relatively common in the Keys and is taken frequently in the Miami-Paradise Key region. North of Miami it is very rare, most of these records dating before the freeze of 1899.

Throughout the Antilles per Holland (1903).

Flight Period: Year round

Host Plants

Devil's Potato - Echites umbellata - Apocynaceae - Info 
Oleander - Nerium oleander - Apocynaceae - Info 
Leafless Swallowwart - Cynanchum scoparium - Apocynaceae s. l. ("Asclepiadaceae") - Info 
Baybean - Canavalia rosea - Fabaceae - Info

Type Locality: Cuba

Note: Images of the larva and adult of this species grace the covers of Wagner (2005) and Kimball (1965) respectively.

Similar Species: 

Composia credula (Fabricius, 1775)
Composia utowana Bates, 1933

Texas Pericopini:

Dysschema howardi (Hy. Edwards, 1886) 
Dysschema leucophaea (Walker, 1854)
Gnophaela aequinoctialis (Walker, 1854)
Phaloesia saucia Walker, 1854

Photos: Adult, Pupa, Larva, Ova - by the incomparable Alan Chin-Lee


1977 Cayman Islands Butterflies and Moths. First Day Cover issued 2 December 1977
Larger images of same stamps

Biography: Gottlieb August Wilhelm Herrich-Schäffer - Wikipedia

Etymology: fide, -l, -n (L). Faithful, trusting


Bates, M. 1933. The pericopid genus Composia (Lepidoptera). Psyche 40: 121-124.

Borror, D.J. 1960. Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms. National Press Books, Palo Alto. v + 134 pp.

Covell, Jr., C.V. 1984, 2005. Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America. Virginia Museum of Natural History, Martinsville, VA. xv + 495 pp, 64 plates.

Forbes, W.T.M. 1930. Insects of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Heterocera or moths (excepting the Noctuidae, Geometridae and Pyralidae). Scientific Survey of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands 12:1-171, 2 plates.

Gundlach, J. 1881. Contribución á la Entomología Cubana. Havana. xxi + 445 pp.

Herrich-Schäffer, G.A.W. 1866. Schmetterlinge aus Cuba. Correspondenz-Blatt des zoologisch-mineralogischen Vereines in Regensburg 20: 130-136.

Holland, W.J. 1903. The Moth Book. Doubleday, Page & Co., New York. 479 pp.

Kimball, C.P. 1965. The Lepidoptera of Florida; an annotated checklist. Arthropods of Florida and Neighboring Land Areas, Vol. 1. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry. v + 363 pp.

Wagner, D.L. 2005. Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A Guide to Identification and Natural History. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 496 pp., 1,200+ color photos.

Watson, A. & D. T. Goodger. 1986. Catalogue of the Neotropical Tiger Moths. Occasional papers on Systematic Entomology of the British Museum (Natural History), 1: 1-71.

03 Jun 2007  © Mike Quinn / mike.quinn@tpwd.state.tx.us / Texas Entomology / Texas Lep Information / Diurnal Moths