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Brown-shaded Gray (Iridopsis defectaria)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Brown-shaded Gray

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Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf-Bowen
Full-sized image of the Brown-Shaded-Gray-Moth Thumbnail image of the Brown-Shaded-Gray-Moth

The native Brown-shaded Gray sports a variety of colors that bounce and wave their ways across the wings.

Updated: 01/26/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Brown-shaded Grays are part of the Geometer family. The caterpillar is long and slender, posing with half its body off a branch, mimicking a twig. They feed on the leaves of trees like oak, cherry, poplar and willow.

Adults have rows of colors spanning the wings that range from golden brown to steely gray. On the hindwings, a white teardrop-shaped spot almost always touches the black scalloped line crossing the lower half of the wing. A rich, warm brown fills in the area 'under' the black scalloped line. By the head, this same brown sits 'above' the black line. This species closely resembles others in its genus in pattern.

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: Geometridae
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          Genus: Iridopsis
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            Species: defectaria
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Iridopsis defectaria
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 13mm to 24mm (0.51" to 0.94")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, gray, white, black
Descriptors: wavy, lines, teardrop, multicolored, flying

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 13mm (0.5in) and 24mm (0.9in)
Lo: 13mm
Md: 18.5mm
Hi: 24mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
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Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Brown-shaded Gray 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 Brown-shaded Gray. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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