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  • Southern Emerald Moth - (Synchlora frondaria)

    Southern Emerald Moth - (Synchlora frondaria)

    The Southern Emerald Moth enlivens dark nights in the warm, humid South. Its caterpillar has a reputation for 'inching' its way across foliage.

    Picture of Southern Emerald Moth
    Staff Writer (9/10/2016): This moth is a type of Geometer Moth, one of the largest moth families in North America. This particular species is quite common in the southern United States. Adults are a gorgeous, vivid green color with a feathery fringe on its hindwings. A white stripe down the back may be visible if its wings are open. Curvy white lines cross the forewings from left to right, almost like tree rings. Their antennae are also white and are feathery.

    Their larval form (caterpillar) are popularly called 'inchworms' because of the way they walk. They are a part of the Measuringworm Moth family. They only have front and back legs that help them walk so in order to move their long bodies forward, they have to pull both sets of legs close together and them push them apart. This type of caterpillar is popular thanks in part to the iconic children's book "The Hungry Caterpillar". If the caterpillar feels threatened, it will straighten and stretch its body out at an angle while on a stem, making it look like a short, stubby twig on a branch.

    Adults prefer woodland forests and are attracted to lights at night, like most moths. Caterpillars feed on short, woody plants and blackberry plants.

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    Details of the:
    Southern Emerald Moth

    Category: Butterfly or Moth
    Common name: Southern Emerald Moth
    Scientific Name: Synchlora frondaria

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Lepidoptera
          Family: Geometridae
           Genus: Synchlora
            Species: frondaria

    Size (Adult, Length): 20mm to 30mm (0.79in to 1.18in)

    Identifying Colors: green, white, yellow, black

    Additional Descriptors: flying

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia

    * 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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