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Ambiguous Moth (Lascoria ambigualis)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Ambiguous Moth



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True to its name, the Ambiguous Moth has a few different color variations and spots that may or not be easy to see.



Updated: 01/26/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
A type of Litter Moth, Ambiguous Moths are small and somewhat triangular in shape when their wings are spread flat thanks to a long nose or snout at the front of the face. Ambiguous Moths are brown or light brown with a purple hue. Males look slightly bolder and darker than females. Males have a straight, dark band that crosses the wings near the hairy thorax, clearly separating the lighter head/thorax area from the darker portion of the wings. The bottom of each forewing has a notch in it, dotted with a round black spot. Females don't have this darker band, nor the notch. Males also have a curved white dash near the outer edge of the wings. In females, this dash is broken into smaller bits. Both genders have an angled, dark smudge in the corner tip of each forewing. Legs are dark brown with white bands at the joint and along the feet.

Larvae are dark brown with a thin white line along the 'spine' at the rear, or muted green with pairs of black dots in each segment on the top of the body. Segments may be separated by narrow yellow-orange bands. A faint diamond-shaped pattern runs along the dorsal side as well. The face is dark, but has a mottled design on it. They feed on mums, ragweed, and horseradish. Tiny, translucent spherical eggs are laid on leaves of host plants. Two broods are produced each year.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Patterned insect icon


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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Erebidae
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          Genus: Lascoria
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            Species: ambigualis
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Lascoria ambigualis
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 21mm to 25mm (0.82" to 0.98")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, purple, gray, black, white
Descriptors: white curves, white crescents, spots, purple wave, corner marks, flying, curled, curvy, nose, long snout, triangle shape
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Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 21mm (0.8in) and 25mm (1.0in)
Lo: 21mm
Md: 23mm
Hi: 25mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
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State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
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State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Ambiguous Moth may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Ambiguous Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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