The American Ermine Moth is a transcontinental moth found in Canada and the U.S. despite its geographically limiting name.
The American Ermine Moth is bright white and covered in black dots, much like a Dalmatian in the canine world. Careful examination of the number of dots and their arrangement can help distinguish this species from other similar species in this genus, but the task can still prove challenging. The American Ermine Moth has more black dots than most species, and they form three or four relative lines down the forewings. Hindwings, when visible, are mostly white. The hairy white face has two large, black eyes. Its legs are completely white.
Caterpillars are mostly white with yellow blotches near the feet. They are also covered in black dots and have a dark line running down the 'spine'. They feed on running strawberry bushes, a low-growing, leafy shrub that covers the ground in woodlands. They may also be found on viburnum plants also growing in the wild. Adults are active in the summer and can be found in areas where host plants are growing, including gardens, backyards, and parks.
Scientific Name: Yponomeuta multipunctella
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 25mm (0.78in to 0.98in)
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.