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Harnessed Tiger Moth (Apantesis phalerata)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Harnessed Tiger Moth, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 9/14/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Harnessed Tiger Moth  
Picture of Harnessed-Tiger-Moth
Picture of Harnessed-Tiger-Moth Picture of Harnessed-Tiger-Moth

The Harnessed Tiger Moth could be mistaken for a butterfly with its stripes, contrasting colors and splashes of orange underneath.

The Harnessed Tiger Moth is one of a group of very similar looking Tiger Moths. This family is known for its showy colors. For the Harnessed Tiger Moth, the biggest color statement comes from its hingwings where a flourish of orange-pink can only be seen with wings spread. The abdomen is black with reddish sides. This moth can been seen flying from early spring to late autumn in the southern states. The colder northern climate reduces that by two months.

Caterpillars are completely covered in hairs that look like bristles of a brush. Its body is a grayish black and the hairs are yellowish. A thin yellow or orange-colored stripe extends from head to rear. They eat the leaves of clover, plantains, corn and dandelion.

Picture of the Harnessed Tiger Moth
Picture of the Harnessed Tiger Moth

Harnessed Tiger Moth Information

Category: Butterfly or Moth
Common Name: Harnessed Tiger Moth
Scientific Name: Apantesis phalerata

Taxonomy Hierarchy

 Arrow graphic Kingdom: Animalia
  Arrow graphic Phylum: Arthropoda
   Arrow graphic Class: Insecta
    Arrow graphic Order: Lepidoptera
     Arrow graphic Family: Erebidae
      Arrow graphic Genus: Apantesis
       Arrow graphic Species: phalerata

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 30 mm to 42 mm (1.17 inches to 1.638 inches)
Identifying Colors: black, ivory, pink, orange
Additional Descriptors: flying, flash, lines, stripes, x

North American Territorial Reach (Though Not Limited To): Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska;New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; British Columbia; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Mexico

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that 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. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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