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Yellow-necked Caterpillar Moth (Datana ministra)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Yellow-necked Caterpillar Moth.

 Updated: 9/19/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




The pesky yellow and black caterpillar of this moth has a reputation for overeating in orchards.



Adult Yellow-necked Caterpillar Moths do not have yellow necks, but their offspring do. The moth is a light brown color with thin, dark brown lines crossing its wings. A dark, furry thorax is covered in dense hairs that could be dark brown or a shade of maroon. It blends in well among the deciduous trees in its woodland habitat.

Caterpillars are black with yellow lines from head to rear. A black head has a bright yellow collar around its 'neck'. The legs are yellow or orange with black and yellow feet. The entire caterpillar is covered in both short and long, thin white hairs. They feed on the leaves of apple, oak, willow, and birch trees to the point of becoming pests. After they are finished with a leaf, only its stalk is left behind. One or two broods can be produced each year. Look for them posing in a back bend where the head and rear end lift off the branch and come close to touching.
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Notodontidae
          Genus: Datana
            Species: ministra
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Datana ministra
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 53mm (0.78in to 2.07in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; red
Descriptors: brown lines; red hair; furry head; flying
Territorial Map
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Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
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
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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.