The Red-Fringed Emerald is a moth with rusty red tinted edges that contrast nicely with vibrant green wings.
Some moths are so bright and colorful that they may be mistaken for a butterfly; the Red-Fringed Emerald could be one of them. A member of the Emerald Moth genus, the Red-Fringed Emerald resembles its relatives like the Red Bordered Emerald Moth. This species is bright green and has thin white lines that stretch across its wings like other Emeralds. Where the Red-fringed Emerald differs is at the bottom edges of the wings where a white fringed is slightly tipped with a dark red color. The abdomen has large yellow dots on it and it lacks the small black distal spots on the forewings that some other Emerald Moths have. The recognizable jewel-toned green color it is named for is not its only shade. Some of this species are a more lime green while others are actually brown, or a mix of both colors. Two families (broods) can be produced every year; one in the spring and one in the summer. The timing of the butterfly's beginnings has an effect on the color it will be.
Caterpillars feed on woody plants so both offspring and adult Red-Fringed Emeralds are found in the same forests and woodlands. Larvae are considered 'inchworms' because they move one inch at a time. They propel the head and front of the body forward and then bring up the rear, creating an arch in the middle of the body. Birch, walnut, and oak trees are popular hosts for the hungry larvae. Adults are attracted to lights at night so look for them near porches and other bright areas at dusk.
Scientific Name: Nemoria bistriaria
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 22mm to 25mm (0.86in to 0.98in)
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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.