Insect Identification logo

Large Maple Spanworm Moth (Prochoerodes lineola)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Large Maple Spanworm Moth, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 8/29/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Large Maple Spanworm Moth  
Picture of Large-Maple-Spanworm-Moth

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.

Large Maple Spanworm Moth Information

Category: Butterfly or Moth
Common Name: Large Maple Spanworm Moth
Scientific Name: Prochoerodes lineola

Taxonomy Hierarchy

 Arrow graphic Kingdom: Animalia
  Arrow graphic Phylum: Arthropoda
   Arrow graphic Class: Insecta
    Arrow graphic Order: Lepidoptera
     Arrow graphic Family: Geometridae
      Arrow graphic Genus: Prochoerodes
       Arrow graphic Species: lineola

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 35 mm to 50 mm (1.365 inches to 1.95 inches)
Identifying Colors: yellow, brown, purple
Additional Descriptors: bark, lines, dot, angled, curved, hook, flying

North American Territorial Reach (Though Not Limited To): Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska;New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Alberta; Manitoba; Saskatchewan; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Mexico

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that 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. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

BugFinder: What is it?