Thanks to grand variation between individual Large Maple Spanworm Moths, it is possible to think several species are present in the same area.
Some Large Maple Spanworm Moths are yellow, while others are brown, dark brown, and even shades of deep purple. Some have a thin line that transverses flat forewings and abdomen, others have additional dark markings resembling a set of squashed parentheses near the head and still others lack both. Many have a small black dot on the upper half of each hindwing. This species is nocturnal and is attracted to lights at night.
Caterpillars are are brown and thin, resembling twigs. They raise one end of their bodies and stretch outward as if a part of a new branch on a tree. This camouflage affords them some protection form predators like birds and bats. Large Maple Spanworms feed on a variety of trees, including maple. Apple, oak, cheery, willow and poplar are a few. Smaller plants like geraniums, grasses, and sweet fern are also good host plants. This means that adults can be found in a variety of places including hardwood forests, parks, gardens, patios, meadows and orchards. They are active from spring through summer and are common in their vast range.
Scientific Name: Prochoerodes lineola
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 35mm to 50mm (1.37in to 1.95in)
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.