The four spots that make a Four-spotted Gluphisia what it is are found in the same places, regardless of what the rest of the moth looks like. Two small orange dots are near the head and are sometimes hidden by the mess of hair on the thorax. The other two are more obvious and larger, resting on the middle band of color in the center of each wing. These two orange spots may actually have a shape close to that of a curvy check mark or 'V'. The rest of the moth's colors can vary, but two variations are common. A pale brown, almost tan moth with a wavy, golden-brown middle band is the lighter one. The darker variation has a black head and thorax and a wavy, black middle band where the orange spots sit. The other two bands are gray.
This is a nocturnal moth and is only seen at night near artificial lights. Caterpillars feed on poplar trees, so woods, parks, and backyards with that host plant are likely to harbor them.
Scientific Name: Gluphisia avimacula
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 18mm to 22mm (0.70in to 0.86in)
Colors: brown; tan; orange; gray; black
Descriptors: four orange marks; orange check marks; black band; hairy; big antennae; 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.