One look at the fascinating caterpillar of the Abbreviated Button Slug Moth and its common name becomes clear.
Slug Moths are a group of moths with caterpillars that look less like a typical tubular caterpillar and more like a garden slug. This species is no exception. The green caterpillar has a rounded, oblong body shaped like an egg. Two yellow lines run down the center of the back (dorsal side). What really sticks out though is a large, deep red dot, akin to an elevator button, right in the middle of its back. As it matures, this red dot expands and begins to 'bleed' toward the head and rear, and a little down the sides of the body.
On the other hand, the adult Abbreviated Button Slug Moth is much less conspicuous. It is small and light brown. A dark U-shaped line curves on both wings. Its abdomen sticks up, poking out above its wings. The tops of the legs are furry, but the lower part by the 'feet' are not. This moth and its larvae can be found on the eastern side of the continent in deciduous forests. Caterpillars eat leaves from oak and chestnut trees as well as fruit trees like apple, cherry, and plum.
Scientific Name: Tortricidia flexuosa
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 8mm to 12mm (0.31in to 0.47in)
Colors: brown, green, yellow, red
Descriptors: U line, tail up, hairy, flying, red dot caterpillar, flattened body, tree pest
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.