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Crambid Snout Moth (Herpetogramma sphingealis)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Crambid Snout Moth

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Crambid Snout Moths vary in appearance, but Herpetogramma sphingealis goes a step further with a different look for each gender.

Updated: 04/30/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Male Herpetogramma sphingealis moths are shaped somewhat like Sphinx moths having slightly elongated wings. Females have wings that are more square-shaped. Both are a shade of brown, but females generally have a paler, faded hue. A shimmering luster, or sheen, covers both sexes giving the wings a glassy look. A pale spot at the outer edge of each forewing may be roughly bordered in dark brown. This species does not have clear lines crossing the body like similar-looking relatives. The hindwings have white fringe near the body and its forewings have a spot of white on their mostly brown fringe. The ventral (belly) side of the moth is white.

Caterpillars of this species of Crambid Snout Moth eat the fronds of Christmas ferns, a native North American fern found throughout the continent. Adults are on wing from May through early autumn. Look for them in dark, shady areas of forests.

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


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Crambidae
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          Genus: Herpetogramma
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            Species: sphingealis
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Herpetogramma sphingealis
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 31mm to 37mm (1.22" to 1.45")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, orange, tan, black
Descriptors: lines, spot, flying, shiny, metallic, sheen, luster; kitchen

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 31mm (1.2in) and 37mm (1.5in)
Lo: 31mm
Md: 34mm
Hi: 37mm
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 Crambid Snout 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 Crambid Snout Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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