The Somber Carpet Moth has cryptic coloring that makes it difficult to find when it rests on tree bark.
Flat, open wings is the preferred resting position of the Somber Carpet. The many curved lines that cross this brown moth add visual texture to the wings. A slightly darker middle band dips down into the lower band in the center of each wing, like a pair of dark teeth. Faint white spots hug the curvature of the lines, and help separate the dark middle band from the lighter upper and lower ones. The overall appearance of the moth creates a camouflage that makes living among trees safer.
This species is mostly found in the tropical and warm states of Mexico and the southern U.S., but it migrates north in autumn as far as Ontario. Woodlands and marshy areas are common habitats. The caterpillars feed on bougainvillea, amaranth, pokeweed, and devil's claw, which can be grown in gardens and bring the moth into backyards as well.
Scientific Name: Disclisioprocta stellata
Other Name(s): Bougainvillea Looper (caterpillar)
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 25mm to 33mm (0.98in to 1.29in)
Colors: brown; black; white
Descriptors: curve lines; flying; waves; beige; white dots at bottom; dark
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.