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Red-humped Caterpillar Moth (Schizura concinna)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Red-humped Caterpillar Moth.

 Updated: 10/2/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




The bright and highly patterned caterpillar of this somewhat plain, brown moth gets all the attention.



The Red-humped Caterpillar Moth is light brown with reddish color on the inner middle part of the forewings. A profusely hairy thorax seems neatly cropped once it reaches the wings, allow the auburn part of the wings to easily show. A single black dot and a black dash at the 'shoulder' are really the only other useful markers for identifying it.

The caterpillar, however, has a bright red head and a similar-sized red hump on the upper part of its back. The body is black with thin yellow and white stripes. Thicker orange stripes may have formed on the sides of the body with broken black lines in it. Small black spikes stick out of the body around each segment, and each one may have a bristled hair sticking out from its tip. The rear end raises up in a defensive position if it feels threatened.

This caterpillar is easy to recognize, which is convenient because it is a pest on many types of orchard and nut trees. Leaves are eaten almost completely, leaving only its veins behind on twigs and branches. Young trees and those standing alone in a park or yard can be completely defoliated by the feeding habit of this larva. Pear, apple, peach, almond, apricot, plum, and cherry trees are suitable host plants. Other deciduous trees like willow, cottonwood, birch, and redbuds are also used. In small numbers, healthy and mature trees recover. Fruit and nuts remain on the tree unharmed by the insect, but might suffer from increased sun exposure once the shade of leaves have been eaten away. Cutting off branches that contain feeding caterpillars and destroying them can help reduce their impact. Allowing parasitic wasps and other natural predators to thrive also helps control the number of caterpillars. Using chemical insecticides against this caterpillar might also hurt friendly pollinator species, so natural methods to contain and control populations is more common.
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Notodontidae
          Genus: Schizura
            Species: concinna
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Schizura concinna
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 17mm to 21mm (0.66in to 0.82in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; red
Descriptors: brown; auburn; red; hairy thorax; flying; brown dots at bottom of wings
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
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
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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. 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
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 as sensors.
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.
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Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
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Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.