Unlike humans, the fine dark lines on the wings of an Ironweed Root Moth fade the older it gets.
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 even later in the season.
Caterpillars feeds on the roots of Ironweed, a flowering shrub in the aster family known for its bright purple flowers. Caterpillars are not usually seen because they are underground, nibbling on root tissue. Look for adults in the central states of the U.S. during the summer months.
Scientific Name: Polygrammodes flavidalis
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 12mm to 17mm (0.47in to 0.66in)
Colors: white, brown, orange
Descriptors: wavy lines, semicircle, flying, garden pest
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.