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Arched Hooktip (Drepana arcuata)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Arched Hooktip

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The splendid, curvy ends of the Arched Hooktip's forewings are made more dramatic by the dark gradient that bleeds into them.

Updated: 07/11/2023; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
A quick look at the tips of the wings will distinguish a Hooktip moth from others. The points of each wing bend down and inward, similar to the shape of a hook. They do not serve any function associated with hooks (carrying, latching, pulling), but they are remarkable nonetheless. Their hairy brown forewings are light near the body and gradually darken toward these arched tips. The wings are crossed left to right with thin, dark brown lines with the darkest one running near the bottom center of the wings. Individuals can vary in shades; some are pale while others are a more saturated brown. A few black dots/spots mark the centers of the forewings and are easy to see when the moth is resting with wings flat.

Caterpillars of the Arched Hooktip Moth feed on the leaves of alder and birch trees. They fold up a leaf and use their silk to form a retreat for themselves. They have been heard making soft audible clicks or taps when provoked. Their bodies are green, brown, or even purple at various stages. The 4 or 5 segments near the head have a pair of bumps on them, each with a single black hair extending from it. The ventral side (belly) may be a whitish-yellow and the tip of the abdomen tends to curve upward. Females can produce up to two broods each year.

The Arched Hooktip is a nocturnal moth and adults are attracted to lights at night. Look for them in hardwood forests, especially in elevated areas, and, in the Pacific Northwest and Northeast, near coastal areas.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Nocturnal insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Drepanidae
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          Genus: Drepana
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            Species: arcuata

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Drepana arcuata
Other Name(s): Masked Birch Caterpillar
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 27mm to 40mm (1.06" to 1.57")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: yellow; brown; tan; flying
Descriptors: wavy; lines; point; downward; drip; tip; hook; beak; smooth; stealth; flying; nocturnal

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 27mm (1.1in) and 40mm (1.6in)
Lo: 27mm
Md: 33.5mm
Hi: 40mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Arched Hooktip 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 Arched Hooktip. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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