The curved handstands done by the resting adult Spotted Apatelodes draws almost as much attention as its vivid caterpillar.
A black spot on each inner forewing of adult Spotted Apaletodes can combine with a black patch on the abdomen to form a band of inky color on the otherwise tan moth. Faint wavy or scalloped lines are visible on the lower half of each forewing. The remarkable stance of this family of moths catches eyes. The abdomen curves sharply upward along with spread wings, resembling a handstand. The black hairs at the tip of the abdomen become more visible in this position. The legs have thick tufts of hair around them.
As if this peculiar pose wasn't enough, the highly visible larvae are marveled at as well. Caterpillars are completly covered in wisps of hairs. Younger ones are completely white, but the older ones are a bright, almost neon, yellow. It is so bright, it is hard to miss on green foliage. A clump of long black lashes (hairs) project from behind the head on the second and third segments and another extends from near the rear. Black 'V'-shaped chevrons form a row down the length of the sides of the body. They eat the leaves of ash, oak, and maple trees. Two broods can be produced each year.
Look for adults and larvae on or near deciduous forests, woodlands, and even more developed areas where their host trees are growing.
Scientific Name: Apatelodes torrefacta
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 32mm to 46mm (1.25in to 1.79in)
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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.