The Orange-tipped Oakworm ranges over much of the eastern part of the continent, nibbling on the plethora of oak trees growing across states and provinces.
Similar in appearance to the Spiny Oakworm Moth, Orange-tipped Oakworm Moths have a purple line crossing the lower forewings and an obvious white spot. The Orange-tipped Oakworm has a darker orange flush on its furry thorax than the Spiny Oakworm Moth. The Orange-tipped Oakworm Moth is covered with faint purple specks though males may lack them. The 'shoulder' area lacks a purple band seen in the Spiny Oakworm Moth. Like other relatives, it is sexually dimorphic and the male is smaller than the female.
The larvae of this moth are called oakworms because these caterpillars feed on oak leaves. Many will share a branch and completely defoliate it. Extensive feeding from Orange-tipped Oakworms elevates them to a pest level. Caterpillars are black and orange with a line of pointy, almost spiky, bumps along the side and upper dorsal (back) area. Long, black antennae protrude from behind the head and point forward. Younger caterpillars have orange bodies and a black head. Older ones have black bodies with four thin, orange lines running down the top of the body, and two lines along each side. Adults do not eat. Look for them in flight in early summer in areas where oaks are present, even during daylight hours when males actively seek out mates.
Scientific Name: Anisota senatoria
Other Name(s): Orange-striped Oakworm, Peigler's Oakworm Moth
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 30mm to 50mm (1.17in to 1.95in)
Colors: yellow, purple, pink, orange, white
Descriptors: purple half wing, white dot, flying, freckles, speckled, furry legs
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.