Long, lean, and green, The Badwing is an innocent, woodland-dwelling moth that prefers vines to trees.
The Badwing is the only North American representative in its genus. The forewings are much longer than the hindwings, more than twice the normal size. These smaller hindwings proved difficult for entomologists and collectors to spread out and pin into a display, so they began referring to them as 'bad wings'. The striking green moth has a green abdomen and antennae, making it an attractive specimen to showcase. In nature, however, they are readily camouflaged by their coloring and dwell near forested areas where they may be safely hidden from most predators.
The long, green forewings end in a very slight curve, creating a slight tip at the ends. Two straight, thin, white lines cross the wings when open flat; one near the head, the other past the center of the body. A small white dot sits near the edge of each forewing between the two white lines. Adults are active from mid-spring through late summer and are not known to feed, spending all their energy trying to find a mate and reproduce instead. The caterpillar is slender and pale yellow-green. It feeds on grapevines and Virginia creeper. Two broods are produced each year. Look for adults near woodland borders among the vines their larvae feed on.
Scientific Name: Dyspteris abortivaria
Other Name(s): The Bad-wing
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 29mm (0.78in to 1.13in)
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.