Lines across wings and pointy tips are not uncommon among Wave moths, but the Cross-lined Wave manages to stand out among them.
This species is the only representative of its genus on the continent. Other Wave moths share similar features, like the Hemlock Looper and Large Maple Spanworm, but the Cross-lined Wave's combination of them is unique and easy to discern. A common resting position for the Cross-lined Wave has the wings open and flat. This best displays the middle, dark, almost straight, line that crosses every wing. Short lines curve near the top of the wings, and a lower line meanders across the bottom parts. A dark brown fringe graces the edges of the pointed wings. The brown lines and the many small freckles of brown over the entire moth create a look similar to tree rings. Males have comb-like antennae; females do not.
The Caterpillar is also called a Cobra Inchworm thanks to both its appearance and its behavior. The golden brown or chocolate brown larva has a bulge in the body near the head similar to the area where cobra snakes flare out when alarmed. White angled lines on the sides of the body accentuate the curve created when the caterpillar crawls. It may raise its head off of a leaf, and curl itself into a question mark shape, like a cobra about to strike. Crested bindweed, buckwheat, and dock are satisfying food sources.
Scientific Name: Timandra amaturaria
Other Name(s): Cobra Inchworm (larva)
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 28mm (0.78in to 1.09in)
Colors: brown; tan
Descriptors: straight brown line; woodgrain; freckles; point wings; brown wing tips; flying
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.