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  • Ironweed Borer - (Papaipema cerussata)

    Ironweed Borer - (Papaipema cerussata)

    The larvae of the Ironweed Borer feed on and dig into the stems of ironweed, a native flowering shrub, making them just as rare to see as adults.

    Staff Writer (10/27/2017): Dark black and brown coloring contrasts with clusters of white spots on the wings of the adult Ironweed Borer. Three or four white dots are grouped near the base of the wings. Three larger white dots are in the center of the forewings, angled toward the head. A third cluster of white forms a line angled toward the abdomen. The abdomen is a tawny brown color that is complemented by a brownish corner at the outer edge of each forewing.

    Like other moths in this genus, the caterpillars chew into plant parts. This species favors ironweed, a type of aster. Larvae eat into the stems and may be hard to find once inside. Adults can be found in open fields, meadows and marshes, especially in areas where ironweed is present. Despite a large range and versatile habitats, sightings of adult Ironweed Borers are not that common.

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    Details of the:
    Ironweed Borer

    Category: Butterfly or Moth
    Common name: Ironweed Borer
    Scientific Name: Papaipema cerussata

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Lepidoptera
          Family: Noctuidae
           Genus: Papaipema
            Species: cerussata

    Size (Adult, Length): 20mm to 22mm (0.79in to 0.87in)

    Identifying Colors: black, white, orange, brown

    Additional Descriptors: spots, trio, three, edge, flying

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Kentucky; Maryland; Mississippi; Nebraska; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Ohio; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; Tennessee; Virginia; West Virginia; Ontario; Quebec; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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