A light tan, coffee bean-shaped mark on the sides of the Morning Glory Prominent stands out among a dark brown splash of color.
The Morning-glory Prominent has many variations of color and pattern on its forewings. The bean-shaped marking is helpful in narrowing it down to Prominent moths, but other members of this family share similar colors and markings. The head and thorax are covered in fur. The dark or light brown wings may have two double lines across them. The entire wing may be a rich, dark brown with a light, creamy streak on the outer edge of each forewing. Lighter individuals may show lines or dashes on the lower part of each wing that run along the wing's veins. When resting with wings closed, the abdomen may raise upward, exposing the tip beyond the wings.
Caterpillars are mostly brown, but have a green band just behind the head. Right where the green band meets the brown body, the 'spine' area is raised forming a reddish, nubby, antennae-like extension that splits in two. A pair of small bumps lines both sides of the white-colored 'spine'. The lower half of the caterpillar is thicker, forming a hump where some the bumps grow into small 'antennae'. They eat leaves from a variety of trees like maple, birch, elm, oak, and basswood. They are not believed to actually eat morning glory flowering vines. Adults are nocturnal and will come to lights at night. Look for them in deciduous hardwood forests where host trees are growing.
Scientific Name: Schizura ipomaeae
Other Name(s): Checkered Fringe Prominent, False Unicorn Caterpillar
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 25mm (0.78in to 0.98in)
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.