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Virginian Tiger Moth (Spilosoma virginica)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Virginian Tiger Moth.

 Updated: 8/6/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




Virginian Tiger Moths are part of a colorful family though they seem to lack any pigment whatsoever with their bright white wings and furry pronotum.



Adults are white with none, or perhaps just a few black spots along the wing. Furry legs are white with black spots on them. The ventral view reveals yellow-orange patches near the head and black dots on both sides of the pronotum. Larger black spots may be on the underside of the hindwing, but not all individuals have them.

The caterpillar of the Virginian Tiger Moth is a rusty orange color and completely covered in thin, long, dark hairs. The bristles are not poisonous, but they can cause skin irritation to sensitive skin. They eat the fleshy parts of leaves, leaving the veins behind. The 'skeleton' remains. This species feeds on cabbage and tobacco plants as well as tree leaves from birch, willow, maple and walnut trees. Two to three broods can be produced each year. Late broods can overwinter.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Arctiiidae
          Genus: Spilosoma
            Species: virginica
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Spilosoma virginica
Other Name(s): Yellow Woolly Bear Moth
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 17mm to 26mm (0.66in to 1.01in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: white, black
Descriptors: white, furry, dots, spots, flying
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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State of South Carolina graphic
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State of Virginia graphic
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


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.