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Lesser Maple Spanworm Moth (Speranza pustularia)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Lesser Maple Spanworm Moth.

 Updated: 6/12/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




A frequent guest in deciduous and evergreen forests, the Lesser Maple Spanworm has one-of-a-kind markings to help identify it.



Lighter and half the size of the Large Maple Spanworm Moth, the Lesser Maple Spanworm Moth's design makes up for what it lacks in wingspan. The bright, white moth has four brown marks on the outer edge of each forewing. Though the first and second marks almost cross, it is the third set of marks that span the wings with a thin brown trail, linking both sides. This line may also stretch across the hindwings. The fourth mark is bigger and usually has no line spanning the wing. A generously spaced black-and-white checkered bottom runs along all four wings. Antennae are white with orange-brown 'teeth' projecting from them like a comb. The face has an extended mouth part that almost resembles a beak.

Females lay gray or pink eggs on a host tree in autumn, which will weather the cold and hatch in early summer. The slender, long caterpillar is green with yellow and green lines running down the 'spine'. It feeds mostly on maple tree leaves, but also enjoys eating from birch, poplar, fir, hemlock, and other trees. It pupates in midsummer and emerges as a winged adult before autumn. One generation is produced each year.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Geometridae
          Genus: Speranza
            Species: pustularia
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Speranza pustularia
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 18mm to 27mm (0.70in to 1.05in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: white, brown
Descriptors: faint lines, rings, flying
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
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
Graphic showing basic anatomy of a common North American butterfly and moth insect
1
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
2
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
3
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
4
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
5
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
6
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.