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Ailanthus Webworm Moth (Atteva aurea)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Ailanthus Webworm Moth.

 Updated: 10/4/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




The skinny, orange Ailanthus Webworm Moth looks more like a flower beetle thanks to its colorful pattern, tightly closed wings, and appreciation for the flowers of its namesake.



The definitive coloring and stripes on this moth make it unique among Webworm Moths. Bright orange wings are spotted with clusters of white dots ringed in black. They tuck and roll their wings close to their bodies when resting, as opposed to spreading them out or letting them lay flat against themselves. They are very thin as well, so they might look more like a flower beetle than a moth.

They are members of the Ermine moth family. Once a female lays her eggs in her old cocoon (for protection), she dies. Only one generation of moths lives every year. The eggs overwinter in their case and emerge as caterpillars in the spring. Larvae create and share a web on leaves and branches of the Ailanthus tree, also called Tree of Heaven. The web protects and holds the wormy larvae on the tree while they feed on the leaves. Though the moth is named after one type of tree, a variety of plants and shrubs are food for this caterpillar. Other host trees come from the Simarouba genus, a group of leafy shrubs like the Paradise Tree that are found in more tropical climes . The webs these caterpillars make are unattractive and therefore this species can be an unsightly pest, especially in plant nurseries.

Ailanthus Webworm Moths are migratory, spending winter in the southern part of their range. Adults are active in the daytime and can be seen from early spring in warmer regions through autumn in northern regions. They are considered good pollinators. Larvae and their webs are usually seen on plants in late summer and autumn.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Yponomeutidae
          Genus: Atteva
            Species: aurea
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Atteva aurea
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 18mm to 30mm (0.70in to 1.17in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: orange; white; black
Descriptors: long, flying, skinny, tubular, thin, spots, rings, dots, pest
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
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
Graphic showing basic anatomy of a common North American butterfly and moth insect
1
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
2
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
3
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
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Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
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Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
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Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.