Orange on the face and the tip of the abdomen provide a bold contrast color to the black and white wings of the Nevada Buck Moth. This western species has a conspicuous yellow-green mark shaped like a comma in the center of each wing. The white band crossing the wings may be wide or narrow, so the yellow-green marks may sit on or near a black part of the wing. A hairy thorax gives the moth a soft, touchable look, but its caterpillar is quite the opposite.
The body of the caterpillar may be white, black, or yellow. Mottled lines of black run the length of the caterpillar. Clusters of short, spiky hairs erupt from the top and sides of the body. These branching hairs may be a combination of black, white, and yellow, but all of them induce a very painful sting if the caterpillar is touched, so contact should be avoided. The head is a deep red color that is matched by the legs. Groups of them may share the same branch on an alder or willow tree, which are food sources for them. They crawl over each other, making them look like a prickly moving mass. Their feeding activity is not known to cause serious harm to the tree.
General Characteristics Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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.
Territorial Map U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Prince Edward Is.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used for sensing.
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.