The bright and unusual colors of the caterpillar of the White-blotched Heterocampa are in stark contrast to the black-and-white adult moth.
White-blotched Heterocampas are mostly black and white with shades of gray and perhaps even hues of green. They are woodland moths and common in the eastern half of the continent. Their caterpillars change colors as they mature and develop. At any given stage, a caterpillar could be purple and fuchsia, or brown and tan, or green and white. Mistaking its variations for three different species is easy to do. Caterpillars feed on the leaves of oak trees though not in such abundance as to be considered a pest.
White-blotched Heterocampa moths are nocturnal and are attracted to lights. Look for them in areas where oak trees grow like parks, forests, gardens, and backyards.
Scientific Name: Heterocampa umbrata
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 23mm to 62mm (0.90in to 2.42in)
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
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.