Schlaeger's Fruitworm Moth could be mistaken for a tiny lump of bird droppings on a leaf if not inspected closely.
The caterpillar of this moth feeds primarily on oak leaves though other species are also edible food sources. Despite its name, the larvae do not seem to attack fruit. The small, pale green or pale brown caterpillar is slender with pale mottled striping down its length.
The adult is also small, but it has a lot of character. The white moth has a dark tuft of hair at the base of the thorax that almost seems fleshy. A round, brown marking sits below it, and a second, dark gray marking sits below the brown one. Streaks of gray cross the wings and small black dots border the bottom edge. The overall visual effect of these markings give the moth the appearance of bird droppings. Such mimicry helps keep it safe from predators during the spring and summer moths of activity.
Scientific Name: Antaeotricha schlaegeri
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 11mm to 15mm (0.43in to 0.59in)
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.