The brown and gray adult moth does not have a unicorn’s horn, but its larva grows a long, pointy ‘horn’ from the top of its body. The plump caterpillar has a large, brown head and a brown body. The area by the head may be green depending on how mature it is. The horn extends almost directly upward. Smaller bumps grow by the rear end where a white ‘V’-shaped mark may be present. These bumps exaggerate into a sharp angle when the caterpillar bends its body. The effect leaves the whole larva looking somewhat like a curled, dried leaf. Corrosive formic acid can squirt out of the hump if the caterpillar is under threat. This caterpillar feeds on a variety of deciduous trees like aspen, birch, oak, maple, hickory, and willow.
The adult moth lacks unicorn features, but it has a myriad of subtle hues overlaying its generally earthy tones. If one looks hard enough, light green and purple can be seen, and the bottom of the forewings may have a creamy white area bordered by thin, scalloped lines. The moth can be found in almost all parts of the continent save the coldest areas. It is most active during the warmest months of the summer.
General Characteristics Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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.
Territorial Map U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Prince Edward Is.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used for sensing.
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.