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Red-humped Oakworm Moth (Symmerista canicosta)


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




The shape of the white side bars is not always enough to know a Red-humped Oakworm Moth from its kin.



 Updated: 4/13/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




There is difficulty in identifying adult moths in this genus. They all have a lovely white flourish on the outer edges of the forewings. This particular species is found on the eastern side of the continent, which helps reduce the number of possible Symmerista moths it could be. The White-headed Prominent and Orange-humped Mapleworm are similar in appearance and in range, so dissection is necessary to truly tell them apart. The gray-brown moth has a deeper brown area by the wing edges where white sides jut into the middle of the wing, ending in a sharp point. The hairy thorax has shades of orange and golden brown on it.

The caterpillar for this moth is called the Red-humped Oakworm. It feeds on the leaves of oak trees as well as beech and chestnut. It is identical to the White-headed Prominent Moth's caterpillar and they share territory in warmer states. The round head is bright orange-red with a bumpy orange or yellow-orange band near the rear end. The body has black, white, and yellow lines running down the length of it, with the yellow lines being twice as thick as the others. Hints of red may fill in the yellow lines. Larvae are often found together on a leaves. Two broods are possible each year, especially in the southern part of its range.


General Characteristics
Flying insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Notodontidae
          Genus: Symmerista
            Species: canicosta
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Symmerista canicosta
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 18mm to 22mm (0.70in to 0.86in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; white; orange
Descriptors: white curves; light interior; flying
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
Canadian National Flag Graphic
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.