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  • Common Gray Moth - (Anavitrinella pampinaria)

    Common Gray Moth - (Anavitrinella pampinaria)

    The gray color and mottled pattern on the wings of the Common Gray offer this moth a degree of camouflage on light tree trunks, but its caterpillar is a master of disguise.

    Picture of Common Gray Moth
    Staff Writer (8/28/2017): Adults Common Grays can be found across the continent, though they do not range into colder, arctic air. They are common in that they are everywhere and also in that they look like many other moths in its family. Careful study of its thin black wavy lines, color hues and other markings is needed to identify it. Four lines mimic fighter jet formation on the wings and are visible when flat. Two cross the body: one near the head and one on the hindwings near the abdomen. Each forewing has its own stretching across it.

    Caterpillars eat leaves from a variety of trees like apple, crab apple, pear, ash, elm, willow, poplar, cottonwood, and aspen as well as smaller plants like clover. Like other Geometer larvae, they are light brown in color and resemble twigs, allowing them to feed and pupate while camouflaged. They stiffen their bodies and can detach one end from a stick in a way that makes them look like another twig extension.

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    Details of the:
    Common Gray Moth

    Category: Butterfly or Moth
    Common name: Common Gray Moth
    Scientific Name: Anavitrinella pampinaria

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Lepidoptera
          Family: Geometridae
           Genus: Anavitrinella
            Species: pampinaria

    Size (Adult, Length): 23mm to 34mm (0.91in to 1.34in)

    Identifying Colors: gray

    Additional Descriptors: marbled, mottled, lines, flying

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): 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; Alberta; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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