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.
Scientific Name: Datana ministra
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 53mm (0.78in to 2.07in)
Colors: brown; red
Descriptors: brown lines; red hair; furry head; flying
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.