Its hard not to want to pet the fluffy brown and white Large Tolype Moth when it is resting within reach.
The Large Tolype Moth is a type of Lappet Moth. A lappet is a fold or flap historically seen on the white bonnets, or head coverings, worn by women in the 18th century. The caterpillar of this type of moth has a kind of flap on its prolegs, which are those back fleshy legs that eventually disappear after it develops. The adult moth has a very different look with a heap of white fur on its thorax, legs, and antennae. A dark mohawk on the thorax has a different texture than the white hairs around it. The wings are gray or taupe with thin white, wavy lines that cross them. Females are paler than males. This is a medium to large moth and all that extra fur adds to its visibility.
The dull gray caterpillar of the Large Tolype Moth is somewhat hairy and can be found eating the leaves and soft foliage of a variety of trees and shrubs. Common host plants include apple, plum, cherry, apricot, almond, birch, poplar, oak, beech and citrus trees. Feeding is most active in the summer months. Adults can be seen on or around these same plants from midsummer to autumn. They do not eat, and instead focus completely on reproduction.
Scientific Name: Tolype velleda
Other Name(s): Velleda Lappet Moth
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 28mm (0.59in to 1.09in)
Colors: white; gray; brown
Descriptors: furry; fluffy; hairy; flying; tumor; fleshy; mohawk; dark; pale white lines
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.