The well-camouflaged Chosen Sallow is found in woodland forests, walking along tree bark where it blends in seamlessly.
Many moths in this family are seen walking in short, quick spurts on trees. The pattern and colors of the moth are similar to bark, and are also difficult to describe. In northern states and provinces, this moth appears mainly brown. In the southern part of its range, it may appear more gray. A golden brown spot on the inner bottom corner of its forewings is usually visible in northern moths. This same golden brown color is also seen in a long, rounded streak on the inner upper part of its wings. Other large reniform spots sit between these marks. Some individuals have a black line running down the inner parts of both forewings; some lack this.
What all Chosen Sallows have in common is a preferred host plant for their caterpillars. Walnut and hickory trees provide leafy food for larvae. Fertilized eggs are laid on leaf buds so the new hatchling is right next to its first meal. The caterpillar is two shades of green: lighter on the top (dorsal) side, and medium green on the lower side. Thin yellow lines runs down the 'spine' and along the sides. Pale dots on the entire body seem random, but on closer inspection, are ordered and symmetrical. Pupae overwinter, and sometimes remain in this stage longer until conditions are optimal.
Adult moths are nocturnal, but come to lights at night. They are most active in spring. Look for them in forests filled where host trees grow, or on woodland edges.
Scientific Name: Psaphida electilis
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 21mm to 22mm (0.82in to 0.86in)
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.