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Common Spragueia (Spragueia leo)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Common Spragueia



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Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
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The tiny Common Spragueia is a colorful moth with larvae that feed on a notorious weed.



Updated: 01/26/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Bindweed is the preferred food plant for the larvae of the Common Spragueia. The plant is native to Europe and is incredibly difficult to eradicate from gardens and crop fields. Bindweed's charming white flowers might be mistaken for morning glory blooms, but this plant is not a vine. The presence of Common Spragueia can act as both an indication that bindweed may be growing nearby, but also that this plant's biological nemesis is doing its part to control it. Caterpillars feed on bindweed and can help reduce plant health, making it work harder to thrive. The larvae may be dark brown or black, and have a white or ivory streak on the sides that is studded with raised black dots. They can bend in many places and may be seen holding down the rear end, while the body arches in the middle and raises the head.

The adult moth is small, but quite colorful. The myriad of colors are bolder than its relatives in the bird-droppings moth subfamily. It is overall orange with large black dashes on the top and sides. These black dashes may even connect to each other. Outer edges of the wings are light yellow or white. The bottom edge of the wings has a black border. Legs are black with a few white bands. They are active from spring through early autumn, and can be found near the edges of woods and in old fields.




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




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Noctuidae
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          Genus: Spragueia
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            Species: leo
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Spragueia leo
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 7mm to 10mm (0.27" to 0.39")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: orange; black; white; yellow
Descriptors: black spots; wide shoulders; tapered; flying; black caterpillar;
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 7mm and 10mm
Lo: 7mm
Md: 8.5mm
Hi: 10mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
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Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Common Spragueia 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 Common Spragueia. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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