As its common name suggests, the Drab Prominent is uniformly gray or green, but its larva brings visual interest to the species.
A stout, medium-sized moth, the Drab Prominent is a soft shade of green when it first enters the world as an adult. The color fades to a simple gray as it matures. Two vague scalloped lines curve across the wings, which might have visible white dots accentuating each point. The head and thorax are furry and may have a patch of bronze on them.
Cottonwood and sycamore leaves are the primary food sources for the caterpillar. It has a hearty appetite and leaves only the thicker veins behind. With a penchant for wasting so little leaf material, it is no wonder that the caterpillar looks overstuffed and bloated. It may be green, brown, red, or purple depending on its maturity, and two fleshy tails extend from the rear area. Green ones have green heads and a thick white stripe running down the 'spine' that is bordered on both sides by thin orange lines. Dark specks are clustered on each side near the head, but become scarce down the sides of the body. Brown ones develop more red pigmentation, and that rosy blush shows in the head and on the stripe more than the body. Red and purple caterpillars boast a flashy pink stripe and a dark head.
Scientific Name: Misogada unicolor
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 24mm to 26mm (0.94in to 1.01in)
Colors: gray; green;
Descriptors: scallop; white dots; flying; red body pink stripe caterpillar
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.