Variation between individual Large Maple Spanworm Moths makes it possible to think several different moths are hanging out.
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 its forewings and abdomen. Others have dark markings resembling a set of parentheses near the head. Many have a small black dot on the upper half of each hindwing. What seems like a lot of differences already is compounded in that still others lack all of that. This species is nocturnal and is attracted to lights at night.
The caterpillar is brown and thin, resembling a twig. It raises one end of its body and stretches outward as if a part of a new branch on a tree. This position offers some protection form predators like birds and bats, who overlook the caterpillar as part of the tree. These young Large Maple Spanworms feed on a variety of trees, including maple, apple, oak, cherry, willow, and poplar. Smaller plants like geraniums, grasses, and sweet fern are also good host plants. This diverse diet 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.