A nocturnal moth, the Eyed Paectes is worth staying up late to see. It is drawn to lights, and if one happens by, the large eyespots on its wings will captivate almost any observer. Big and brown with white, black, and blue in them, the eyespots sit at the bottom edge of the rounded forewings. When the wings are spread out wide, the eyespots have a steady look. When the wings are flat and close, the eyes convey almost a sad, droopy appearance. Streaks of crimson red or pinkish-orange run down the sides of the wings and a dark purple-hue may grace the outer edges. Creamy white patches sit near the base of the wings by the thorax, and also border the eyespots, brightening the area around them. Antennae have comb-like teeth, and the legs and abdomen are brown.
Like a few other moths in this family, the caterpillar feeds on poison ivy. When spotted, surveying the foliage around it is wise in order to avoid contact with the toxic urushiol oil produced by poison ivy leaves. The oil is infamous for creating an allergic reaction in most people that results in red, itchy blisters that can take weeks to heal. The bright green caterpillar is plump and randomly covered with small yellow specks. Tips of the prolegs, the ‘extra’ legs in the middle of the body, are curved and white. Two or more broods can be produced each year.
Scientific Name: Paectes oculatrix
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 14mm to 16mm (0.55in to 0.62in)
Colors: brown; gray; purple; pink; peach; white; salmon; black
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.