A blend of grays and browns, the Porcelain Gray's wings are delicate and varied.
The Porcelain Gray Moth has a creamy base color. The wings are a mix of faint, earth-toned wavy and scalloped lines. On the outer, front edge of each forewing, three dark tabs mark the beginning of each wave. A short, dark streak near the second tab follows that contour toward the center of the wing. At the lower outer edge of each wing, a fourth, lower dark patch highlights the white scalloped line that crosses near the bottom of all the flattened wings.
The caterpillar of the Porcelain Gray is narrow and long. The mottled brown coloring and stiff posture on a branch mimic a twig, helping it avoid predators. Along the 'spine', a black line of dashes runs from the back of the head to the rear. Because of its crawling behavior, the Porcelain Gray's caterpillar is also called a Dash-Lined Looper. When it moves forward, it brings its rear right up behind its head, forcing the tubular body to form an arc or loop in that moment. It then reaches the front of its body forward to make progress, inch-by-inch. These larvae feed on many types of conifers like pine, fir, hemlock, spruce, and cedar trees. Deciduous trees like oak, poplar, and birch are also common host plants. The Porcelain Gray is a common moth in the eastern part of the continent and can be found in a variety of forest habitats thanks to its diverse host preferences.
Scientific Name: Protoboarmia procelaria
Other Name(s): Dash-lined Looper
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 26mm to 35mm (1.01in to 1.37in)
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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.