Clover Hayworms ruin good hay, but can also cause trouble in homes decked out with dried floral arrangements.
The overall color of Clover Hayworm Moths fall between wine-purple and deeper shades of purple. A wide yellow fringe borders the bottoms of the forewings. Each wing has two yellow angled marks on the outer edge. Faint yellow lines curve across the wings, connecting the left and right spots. These colors and markings are similar to those seen in the Pink-fringed Dolichomia and the Yellow-fringed Dolichomia. Eyes are large and legs are yellow.
The caterpillar of this moth is called the Clover Hayworm. Clover hay is harvested and bundled for use as horse feed. The larvae worm their way into haystacks and cover them with caterpillar silk. Inside, they feed on the leaves of the clover plant, ruining the bundles. A full-on infestation can occur inside hay barns making them an agricultural pest. Their diet also leaves room for other dried plant matter and homes decorating with dried flowers may also see activity. Dried herbs are also attractive food sources. In their natural environment, however, the Clover Hayworm Moth and its larvae are not considered a nuisance.
Scientific Name: Hypsopygia costalis
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 13mm to 19mm (0.51in to 0.74in)
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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.