Many shades of rich darkness, the Colorful Zale's lines and metallic shimmer are reminiscent of the mined crystals it is named after.
The species name of the Colorful Zale means "mineral". The variable mix of colors and pattern on this moth result in individuals that look like each other, but are not exact clones as seen in other moths. The majority seem to be a shade of brown overall. Middle areas of the wings have a lighter or warm, reddish-brown color. Wavy lines give the wings the appearance of tree bark, a useful camouflage. Almond shapes at the bottom edges of all four wings are created by black curved lines. These almond-shaped areas may be mostly white and gray, or just lighter shades of brown.
Colorful Zales spend much of their time in wooded areas where deciduous trees grow. Their larvae feed on the leaves of birch, willow, poplar, maple and beech trees, so adults benefit from their bark-like pattern and color. They migrate to the northern states and provinces in warm weather, but are not as common there as they are in the warmer parts of their range.
Scientific Name: Zale minerea
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 37mm to 50mm (1.44in to 1.95in)
Colors: brown, purple, black, white, gray, yellow, green
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.