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  • Scarlet-Winged Lichen Moth - (Hypoprepia miniata)

    Scarlet-Winged Lichen Moth - (Hypoprepia miniata)

    The medium-sized Scarlet-winged Lichen Moth adult has bright colors, while its dull caterpillar blends in nicely on the lichens that speckle tree trunks everywhere.

    Picture of Scarlet-Winged Lichen Moth
    Staff Writer (8/9/2016): Camouflage works well for the caterpillar of the Scarlet-winged Lichen Moth. Its brown speckled coloring matches exactly with the lichen that it feeds on. Lichens are a fungus-algae hybrid, though some are fungus-bacterial hybrids. The fungus brings water to the team, while the algae/bacteria brings photosynthetic food.These delicate flakes grow on the trunks of tree, forming a crust of sorts on the bark. They are also commonly seen on old stones walls and boulders. The caterpillar eats away at the lichen until it is ready to pupate.

    The red and black adults emerge in spring or summer. They can be found in or near woodlands and pine forests. They are mostly nocturnal, and are attracted to lights. They are similar in appearance to their cousin, the Painted Lichen Moth. The Painted Lichen Moth has a more orange hue and a bit of black on the thorax ('shoulder plate') where the Scarlet-winged Lichen Moth is red.

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    Details of the:
    Scarlet-Winged Lichen Moth

    Category: Butterfly or Moth
    Common name: Scarlet-Winged Lichen Moth
    Scientific Name: Hypoprepia miniata

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Lepidoptera
          Family: Erebidae
           Genus: Hypoprepia
            Species: miniata

    Size (Adult, Length): 15mm to 21mm (0.59in to 0.83in)

    Identifying Colors: red, black

    Additional Descriptors: striped, vein, tree, flying, harmless

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): 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; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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