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Boxwood Leaftier Moth (Galasa nigrinodis)

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

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Image Credit: Robert B. from Hudson Valley, NY
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Boxwood Leaftier Moths have unusually tufted legs and a curious posture, leaving observers to wonder what they are actually looking at.

Updated: 01/02/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Adult Boxwood Leaftier Moths have large tufts of black, brown and white hairs on the middle of their legs (at the 'knees'). Forewings are brown with a white curved line running across the center. Orange patches color the upper part of the forewing near the head, coloring also seen in certain Leaf-footed, Seed, and Largid plant bugs. This moth lays its wings flat when resting, but its long legs may still be visible allowing the observer a glimpse at its strange profile where its head is elevated above the rest of the body. Its body stance and wing shape also resemble that of plant bugs.

Though boxwood plants are not native to North America, this native moth has heartily adopted the bush as a host plant and made it an integral part of its life cycle. Boxwood Leaftier Moths are typically found near boxwood shrubs, a popular plant used to establish garden and property borders, or privacy hedges. Females lay fertilized eggs on the plant and the larvae feed on its leaves as they grow and develop. Caterpillar silk is used to tie off leaves to dry them out after which they consume the remains.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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Garden pest insect icon
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Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Pyralidae
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          Genus: Galasa
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            Species: nigrinodis

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Galasa nigrinodis
Other Name(s): Boxwood Webworm
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 8mm to 11mm (0.31" to 0.43")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; orange; white
Descriptors: flying; standing; slanted; bent; hairy; furry; patches; garden pest; tree pest

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 8mm (0.3in) and 11mm (0.4in)
Lo: 8mm
Md: 9.5mm
Hi: 11mm

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 Boxwood Leaftier 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 Boxwood Leaftier Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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