A pale, curved line gently crosses the tawny brown wings of the Curve-lined Owlet moth. Each line angles toward the head and meet just below the midway point on the inner wings. The front labial palps meet together and create a pointed ‘nose’. Both features enhance the triangular shape of this moth.
The odd-looking caterpillar has its own set of distinctive features. The body seems to be broken, bending at unusual angles in the middle part. A white marking looks almost like a saddle in that area. A tremendously long horn or spike-like projection grows upward from the middle-front of the body. A second, shorter one curls toward the rear end. The overall color of the caterpillar may be golden brown, rusty-brown, or pale olive green. Often, both the head and the rear end are held above the branch, stem, or twig it is standing on, leaving only a few prologs where the ‘saddle’ is to secure the caterpillar to its host plant. This species feeds on greenbriers, plants in the Smilax genus, which are thorny vines that grow on other plants. Greenbrier thorns may be short or long, but they are always sharp. Someone pricked by it may mistake it for a sting from a bee or wasp because it hides so well in seemingly harmless shrubs.
Look for the adult and larva in woodlands and the more open areas just outside them. They may also be in more developed areas like office parks and backyards that unwittingly harbor greenbriers growing through border hedges and privacy screens.
General Characteristics Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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.
Territorial Map U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Prince Edward Is.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used for sensing.
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.