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  • Tulip-Tree Beauty Moth - (Epimecis hortaria)

    Tulip-Tree Beauty Moth - (Epimecis hortaria)

    The Tulip-Tree Beauty Moth gains camouflage on a variety of trees resulting in more than just tulip tree leaves for dinner.

    Staff Writer (6/21/2017): The brown and ivory coloring on this moth make it almost impossible to see when it is resting on tree bark. Its wings remain completely flat so it has a low profile. The zigzag patterns and scalloped edges blend in with the variations on a trunk. Though fond of tulip trees, this species' caterpillar also feeds on the leaves of yellow poplar, paw-paw, red bay and sassafras trees. Adults are active from mid-spring through the summer and into early autumn in some regions. They are attracted to lights.

    The caterpillar is pale brown on top and whitish on bottom. Dark lines and spots decorate its dorsal side (back). Thin yellow rings around segments are sometimes visible. The head color ranges from bright yellow to muted brown with speckles. In the mid 1930's, the Tulip-Tree Beauty caterpillar ate the leaves off a majority of the sassafras trees in Connecticut. Such damage has not been seen in recent times.

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    Details of the:
    Tulip-Tree Beauty Moth

    Category: Butterfly or Moth
    Common name: Tulip-Tree Beauty Moth
    Scientific Name: Epimecis hortaria

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Lepidoptera
          Family: Geometridae
           Genus: Epimecis
            Species: hortaria

    Size (Adult, Length): 38mm to 50mm (1.50in to 1.97in)

    Identifying Colors: brown, ivory, white

    Additional Descriptors: zigzag, large, scalloped, flying

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Mississippi; Missouri; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Ohio; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Mexico

    * 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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