A bright flash of orange on the hindwings of the False Underwing is usually hidden under its larger forewings.
Unlike most Underwings, the False Underwing has only a single, wide black band on its orange-yellow hindwings. This flash of color is best seen when the moth is at rest and flattens its wings. The abdomen also has hints of this yellow color on the otherwise gray body. The forewings of this species can be highly varied in shade and hue, but most have dark brown and/or black coloring near the head with a lighter middle area that shows off a black dot on each wing. A black outline in the shape of a bean sits just below the dot. Below these marks, the forewing darkens again in waves of brown and black. All wings have a checkered fringe.
Larvae feed on the leaves of black gum, hickory, and walnut trees. They are long, slender and brown, blending in with the woody branches they move along. Look for adults from spring through the beginning of autumn in areas near woodlands and deciduous forests.
Scientific Name: Allotria elonympha
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 33mm to 44mm (1.29in to 1.72in)
Colors: brown, black, gray, orange, tan
Descriptors: bean-shaped reniform spot, black orange wing, checkered fringe, flying
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.