There are no solid black butterflies in our area, although some swallowtails are black with lighter spots, and skippers can be a very dark brown. So what is one to make of this fluttering black-winged lepidopteran, often seen feeding at flowers? The answer is easy: it is a moth. The white-tipped black (Melanchroia chephise) is one of our diurnal moths that can at first glance understandably be mistaken for a butterfly. Besides the color of the wings, identity giveaways include the reddish body and the decidedly moth-like plumed antennae. Like many moths that fly outside the cover of darkness, this species has a bit of trickery to fool predators. Its colors are an almost universal signal within the insect world for "distasteful." From flies to beetles to bugs, many insects display the orange/black combination either because they really do have a chemical defense or because they are mimicking those with such protection. Predators are often fooled or just don't take the chance if they are unsure, looking instead for prey that is easier to recognize.