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Oak Besma (Besma quercivoraria)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Oak Besma.




When a moth's diet consists of one of the most abundant trees on the continent, it is no surprise to find them everywhere.



 Updated: 1/31/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




The Oak Besma is a common moth in North America, but not well known. It is sexually dimorphic, so males look different from females. Pale brown males have a thin, dark brown line crossing all the wings, creating a curve when they are flat and open. A dark patch sits below it. A shorter brown line hugs the moth's 'shoulders'. A small black dot sits between these lines. Hindwings also have a black dot just above the brown line. There is some variation among males, and varying shades of brown bands may be present as well as mottled markings. Females are pale yellow. The face and hairy thorax are bright yellow. The curved line across the female's wings is lighter, but still obvious. Both male and female are covered in fine freckles or specks that give it the appearance of woodgrain. Like many Geometer moths, the edges of the wings are wavy, or ruffled, and come to points.

Despite its name and love for oak leaves, caterpillars of the Oak Besma also eat from birch, poplar, willow, and white spruce. Two broods are produced each year.


General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Patterned insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Geometridae [ View More ]
          Genus: Besma [ View More ]
            Species: quercivoraria
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Descriptors
Scientific Name: Besma quercivoraria
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 27mm to 41mm (1.05in to 1.60in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; yellow
Descriptors: single line; pale yellow; ruffled edge wings; dark patches; black dots; woodgrain; flying
Relative Size Comparison
Lo: 27mm | Hi: 41mm
Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
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.
Territorial Map
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
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State of North Carolina graphic
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State of Ohio graphic
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State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
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State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
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State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
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


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 for sensing.
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.