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Delicate Cycnia (Cycnia tenera)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Delicate Cycnia, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 8/10/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Delicate Cycnia  
Picture of Delicate-Cycnia-Moth

The Delicate Cycnia is also known as the Dogbane Tiger Moth, an ethereal gold and white moth with the uncommon ability to audibly communicate.

Delicate Cycnias are a bright white with yellow on their head and on the edges on their wings. The white and yellow furry abdomen has 7 black dots on the dorsal side (back). More black dots line the lower side of the abdomen and they pair up on the ventral side (belly). They are part of the Tiger Moth family, which sports some of the brightest and boldest moths in North America.

Males can make a clicking sound to attract females and attempt to throw off predatory bats. Females lay small lavender eggs shaped like pellets under leaves. Caterpillars are covered in long, furry hairs. They are white, or gray, or tan. They eat the foliage of dogbane, milkweed and Indian hemp. Two generations a year can be produced.

Look for a Delicate Cycnia in garden, parks and meadows that harbor host plants. They can also be seen in fields and on roadsides.

Delicate Cycnia Information

Category: Butterfly or Moth
Common Name: Delicate Cycnia
Scientific Name: Cycnia tenera
Other Name(s): Dogbane Tiger Moth

Taxonomy Hierarchy

 Arrow graphic Kingdom: Animalia
  Arrow graphic Phylum: Arthropoda
   Arrow graphic Class: Insecta
    Arrow graphic Order: Lepidoptera
     Arrow graphic Family: Erebidae
      Arrow graphic Genus: Cycnia
       Arrow graphic Species: tenera

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 25 mm to 40 mm (0.975 inches to 1.56 inches)
Identifying Colors: white, yellow
Additional Descriptors: flying, buttery, click, spotted

North American Territorial 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; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that 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. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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