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Black-dotted Ruddy Moth (Ilexia intractata)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Black-dotted Ruddy Moth.

 Updated: 9/26/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




The Black-dotted Ruddy is a brown beauty that can be difficult to distinguish from other brown moths.



Slight color variations between individual Black-dotted Ruddy Moths mean some are a darker or warmer brown than others. Many have a single black dot on each wing that is clearly visible, but others might lack them and be covered in flecks of brown instead. Females have smooth antennae while males have comb-like teeth on theirs. Three darker lines curve across the wings, though they may not be easy to see.

The caterpillar of this moth feeds on the leaves of American holly trees and shrubs, and is considered somewhat of a nuisance especially in the southeastern states of the U.S.. It is also called the Holly Looper, forming small loops or circles with its body as it crawls. The skinny green caterpillar has three pairs of true legs by its head and two pairs of prolegs by its rear end, but none between. Small black dots on the side of the body may be present on more mature caterpillars.
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Geometridae
          Genus: Ilexia
            Species: intractata
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Ilexia intractata
Other Name(s): Holly Looper Moth
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 21mm to 31mm (0.82in to 1.21in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown
Descriptors: brown; black dot; dark brown; flying; three lines
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
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.
4
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
5
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
6
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.