Saturated colors and bold patterns are a typical in butterflies, but the Eight-spotted Forester Moth proves that moths can have a similar impact.
The 8 large white patches on the black wings of the Eight-spotted Forester Moth are hard to miss. The bright orange-red leg hairs are even more noticeable. Because it flies in the day and is often seen at flowers, this moth is sometimes mistaken for a butterfly. It can be found near forests and woodlands, but especially close to host plants that feed larvae.
Females lay fertilized eggs in early summer. In warmer states, two broods are produced each year (a second wave comes in August). Late season pupae overwinter inside cracks of logs. Cooler states and provinces produce only one generation a year. The fleshy caterpillar has thick orange bands at each segment. Black dots cover these orange parts of the body. Alternating thin black and white bands fill the space between the orange ones. Thin white whiskers sparsely extend from head to the rear. They feed on the leaves of various vine plants including grapevines, peppervines and creepers. Adults are believed to drink nectar from a variety of flowering plants.
Scientific Name: Alypia octomaculata
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 16mm to 37mm (0.62in to 1.44in)
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.