The small adult moth is worth admiring on its own, but the larval Redbud Leafroller can do some amazing things with foliage.
As its name suggests, this moth uses eastern redbud trees as a host plant. The black moth has two large white spots, one by each 'shoulder'. A pair of smaller white spots sit at the outer edge of each wing, and four larger white spots are close to the bottom (two on each wing). This small moth produces a caterpillar with the ability to twirl a leaf using bands of caterpillar silk. The small caterpillar has thin, bands that alternate black and white in color. It stretches rungs of white silk that almost seem like elastic, connecting each end to part of the leaf, cinching the leaf in on itself. This eventually creates a nice rolled leaf that shields the caterpillar from predators and the elements. Numerous caterpillars on a single tree curl up many leaves, making it easy to spot an infestation, and difficult for the affected leaves to properly photosynthesize food for the redbud. Because redbuds are prized for their aesthetics, strategies to control the Redbud Leafroller are typically employed on affected trees.
Scientific Name: Fascista cercerisella
Other Name(s): Redbud Leaffolder
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 13mm to 16mm (0.51in to 0.62in)
Colors: black, white
Descriptors: bands, black-and-white, two big shoulder spots, five white spots, flying
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.