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Tulip-Tree Beauty Moth (Epimecis hortaria)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Tulip-Tree Beauty Moth.

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




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



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.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Geometridae
          Genus: Epimecis
            Species: hortaria
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Epimecis hortaria
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 38mm to 50mm (1.48in to 1.95in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, ivory, white
Descriptors: zigzag, large, scalloped, flying
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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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.