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Banded Tiger Moth (Apantesis vittata)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Banded Tiger Moth, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 2/5/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Banded Tiger Moth  
Picture of Banded-Tiger-Moth
Picture of Banded-Tiger-Moth Picture of Banded-Tiger-MothPicture of Banded-Tiger-MothPicture of Banded-Tiger-Moth

The flash of bright color on the hindwings of the Banded Tiger Moth adds more intrigue to this uniquely patterned moth.

Though each species of Tiger Moth has its own pattern, it can be hard to see the differences between the banding patterns of species in the same genus. The Banded Tiger Moth is a medium-sized moth that is dark-brown, almost black. A crisscross of ivory bands do not stretch the full length of the wings, but cover most of them. A careful examination of the positions of these ivory bands is useful in differentiating between species. The bottoms of the forewings of this species have an ivory fringe border. The Banded Tiger Moth rests with its forewings flat, covering its hindwings. When the wings are spread wide and the hindwings are finally visible, they reveal a salmon pink and yellow pop of color.

Adults can be seen flying near flowers and above lawns as well as through meadows, parks and fields from spring into autumn. The caterpillars eat dandelions and a variety of other herbs before pupating into their flying adult forms.

Picture of the Banded Tiger Moth
Picture of the Banded Tiger Moth

Banded Tiger Moth Information

Category: Butterfly or Moth
Common Name: Banded Tiger Moth
Scientific Name: Apantesis vittata

Taxonomy Hierarchy

 Arrow graphic Kingdom: Animalia
  Arrow graphic Phylum: Arthropoda
   Arrow graphic Class: Insecta
    Arrow graphic Order: Lepidoptera
     Arrow graphic Family: Arctiidae
      Arrow graphic Genus: Apantesis
       Arrow graphic Species: vittata

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 32 mm to 42 mm (1.248 inches to 1.638 inches)
Identifying Colors: black, ivory, pink, yellow
Additional Descriptors: banded, striped, lined, red, furry, flying

North American Territorial Reach (Though Not Limited To): Alabama; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; North Carolina; Pennsylvania; South Carolina; Tennessee; Virginia; West Virginia

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that 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. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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