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Spiny Oakworm Moth (Anisota stigma)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Spiny Oakworm Moth.

 Updated: 8/1/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




Oranges, brown, and purples - a collection of autumn's favorite colors - converge on the wings of the Spiny Oakworm Moth.



Spiny Oakworm Moths are a rusty brown color that can appear more orange in some individuals. The two-toned wings are orange-brown on the top half, and are separated by a deep purple line from the more pink-purple color on the bottom. The furry head and thorax are orange-brown as is the short-haired abdomen. Light purple-pink patches on the 'shoulders' are bordered with a dark purple line. A bright white dot sits near the center of each forewing. Black freckles cover most of the forewings and the lower edge of the hindwings.

The caterpillar's body is brown and it has an orange-brown head. This worm-like larva is spiny, as its name suggests. Two black spines, or curved spikes, protrude from either side of a black line that runs down the 'spine'. They are exceptionally long spines near the head. The entire body is covered in white dots. Spiny Oakworms are voracious eaters of a variety of oak leaves, often seen feasting in groups during their early life. One cluster can defoliate an entire young oak. They spend late summer feeding into mid-autumn, eventually becoming more solitary, and then move underground by winter to pupate. Mature oak trees can tolerate the aggressive feeding, but years of defoliation force the use of stored energy and slows tree growth. The insect emerges as a winged adult in summer the next year.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Saturniidae
          Genus: Anisota
            Species: stigma
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Anisota stigma
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 22mm to 38mm (0.86in to 1.48in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: orange, purple, pink, brown, yellow, white, black
Descriptors: black specks, hairy, flying
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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State of Delware graphic
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State of New Mexico graphic
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State of North Carolina graphic
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State of Oklahoma graphic
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State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
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Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
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
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
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
Graphic showing basic anatomy of a common North American butterfly and moth insect
1
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
2
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
3
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
4
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
5
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
6
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.