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, orange or brown wings of the White-dotted Prominent are marked with two small white dots. They are positioned slightly nearer the wings edge than the center. In some individuals, these white dots may be absent or very tiny. Thin, dark orange lines break the wings into three parts, and this pair of dots rests in the middle one. It has a thick, furry thorax that forms almost a mohawk that is best seen from its profile. 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 smooth, plump 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, and its pale green head has yellow and black mouth parts. A yellow line runs from head to rear along each side of the body. A short yellow line curves around the rear end. Small pale speckles cover the body. 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.