The White-dotted Prominent is a forest moth that may go by many names, but its preference for oak trees is the same regardless.
The warm brown wings of the White-dotted Prominent are marked with two small white dots. Thin, dark lines break the wings into thirds and this pair of dots is centered in the middle section. It has a thick, furry thorax that forms a hump most visible on its profile (as opposed to overhead). This coarse part of its body may have inspired an additional common name: the Rough Prominent.
Another common name stems from the color and preferred food of its larva. This caterpillar is also known as a Green Oak Caterpillar, and it chews on the leaves of oak trees. It also eats birch, alder, maple, willow, plum, and cherry tree leaves. It is a pale green color with a fleshy body and its green head has yellow and black mouth parts. The entire caterpillar becomes a dark purple-brown as it matures. It tends to curl into the shape of the number nine when threatened. At least two broods are produced each year; more in the warmer part of its range.
Scientific Name: Nadata gibbosa
Other Name(s): Green Oak Caterpillar Moth, Rough Prominent
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 30mm (0.78in to 1.17in)
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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.