Unlike humans, the fine lines of the Ironweed Root Moth fade as it ages.
Ironweed Root Moths are a yellowish-white color with brown, or orange-brown lines crossing the wings. The lines are slightly curved or wavy, creating an overall appearance of widening semicircles. The color intensity of these wavy lines diminishes with wear, but the amount of fading is usually not enough to render it difficult to identify later in the season.
Caterpillars feeds on the roots of Ironweed, a flowering shrub in the aster family known for its bright purple flowers. Look for adults in central states of the U.S. during the summer months. Caterpillars are not usually seen because they are underground, nibbling on root tissue.
Scientific Name: Polygrammodes flavidalis
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 12mm to 17mm (0.47in to 0.66in)
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.