The aposematic coloring of the Orange-Patched Smoky Moth convinces would-be predators to believe that they taste disgusting.
The orange and black body of the adult Orange-Patched Smoky Moth looks very similar to a group of beetles that harbor a toxin, making them distasteful to anything that may want to eat them. The Orange-Patched Smoky Moth is believed to have a chemical defense, too, but this highly visible mimicry is effective without effort. This species of moth looks almost identical to the Yellow-and-Black Lichen Moth, save for the black all along the Smoky moth's inner wings. The antennae of the Orange-Patched Smoky Moth are black with fringe. The wings, though solidly colored, are actually translucent, a quality that is not easy to see when all wings are overlapping.
Adults are active in the daytime from late spring to mid-summer. They are thought to drink nectar. Larvae are believed to eat dead leaves and live among the leaf litter on the ground. Look for conspicuous adults in, or near, forests.
Scientific Name: Pyromorpha dimidiata
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 18mm to 28mm (0.70in to 1.09in)
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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.