Found on the eastern side of the continent, the Virginia Ctenucha looks similar to the west coast Red-shouldered Ctenucha. They are in the same genus but on different sides of the Rocky Mountains. This moth could almost be mistaken for a wasp thanks to its coloring. Inky black wings are long and have just a hint of bright white along parts of the fringe. The orange head is covered in hair and the color extends to the base of the wings, giving it orange ‘shoulders’. The thorax is a shiny, metallic blue that is also on the body. Long black antennae have fine comb-like teeth. Legs are black.
Caterpillars feed on grasses, sedge, and irises. Two broods can be produced each year. The caterpillar may be black or white with black-tipped white or yellow bristles all over it. It looks like a multicolored pipe cleaner. The head is red with a back face. The colors on the larva can change as it matures. Look for the moth among flowers by day or night all through spring and 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.