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Banded Olethreutes (Olethreutini fasciatana)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Banded Olethreutes



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Image Credit: Sarah L. from Roseland, VA
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The Banded Olethreutes has all the colors of a bird's feces, which may keep predators from looking too closely at it.



Updated: 01/26/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The white band on the middle of the Banded Olethreutes may be its clearest marking. A second, pale band at the bottom of the wings may be prominent is some individuals more than others. The upper half of the wings is dark, even black, with mottled browns and flecks of white or silver. The lower part of the wings are more brown in color and streaks of olive green, white, ivory, yellow, and orange mix into a multicolored mosaic. The fringe at the bottom of the wings is brown with yellow and orange blended in. A tuft of brown hair sits near the furry head, which is held high.

This is a small moth, and the myriad of colors on its wings so closely resemble bird droppings that it may also be referred to as a Bird Dropping Moth. Its caterpillars feed on the leaves of poplar and willow trees, so look for adults in or near deciduous woodlands and forests.




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




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Tortricidae
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          Genus: Olethreutini
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            Species: fasciatana
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Olethreutini fasciatana
Other Name(s): Bird Dropping Moth
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 7mm to 8mm (0.27" to 0.31")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; yellow; white; gray; brown; green
Descriptors: middle white band; yellow bottom; olive green; silver; black upper body; multicolored; two light bands; flying; small
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 7mm and 8mm
Lo: 7mm
Md: 7.5mm
Hi: 8mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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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 Banded Olethreutes 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 Banded Olethreutes. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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