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The bright green color of the Wavy-Lined Emerald Moth proves that butterflies aren't the only cheery Lepidopterans.
Wavy-Lined Emerald Moths have two sets of thin white lines crossing their bodies from wing to wing. Both have small dips at the veins in the wings which creates a wavy, almost scalloped appearance. The body has a bright white line running down the 'spine'. Some small white lines branch out from it closer to the head. This moth rests with its wings spread flat, giving an observer time to notice the pale green fringe along the edges of the wings. They are nocturnal and attracted to lights.
Wavy-Lined Emerald Moths overwinter in part of the larval stage. They can produce two or more broods each year. The yellow and brown caterpillars cover themselves in pieces of plant material like flower petals. This helps them blend into the plant they are feeding on. It also gives them bumps and edges that make it difficult to discern that it is actually a caterpillar and not a strange kind of insect. Look for them as they feed on flowers and shrubs like asters, coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, raspberry bushes, sagebrush, ragweed, and goldenrod.
Scientific Name: Synchlora aerata
Other Name(s): Camouflaged Looper
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 13mm to 24mm (0.51in to 0.94in)
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Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
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.