The Copper Underwing has gleaming orange hindwings that are kept tucked away most of the time.
Despite its name, the Copper Underwing is not actually part of the Underwing family and lacks the thick dark band on the hindwing seen in those moths. Instead it is in the Amphipyrine Sallow family. The bright orange hindwings of this species look a lot like the type of thing one would see in Underwing moths, so it is possible this characteristic influenced its common name. A woodland moth, the Copper Underwing tends to keep its flashy colors under wraps to avoid being conspicuous. It can be found walking along tree trunks, which it expertly blends in with. The dark brown moth has a medium-sized tan spot on the middle of each forewing. The lower part of the forewings is lighter in color than the upper part. Streaks of dark color add contrast to this paler area. Legs have black and white bands on them.
The caterpillar is pale green and has a peak-shaped hump near the rear end. It is often parasitized by wasps and other insects and their white capsule-shaped eggs may be sticking to its body. Food sources for the caterpillar are varied and numerous. Vines like Virginia creeper, raspberry, and grape offer leafy nutrition. Leaves from oak, willow, elm, maple, and birch trees are also eaten.
Scientific Name: Amphipyra pyramidoides
Other Name(s): American Copper Underwing, Humped Green Fruitworm, Pyramidal Green Fruitworm
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 23mm to 28mm (0.90in to 1.09in)
Colors: brown, orange
Descriptors: spot, pale bottom, orange, flying, hump, bump
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.