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Crocus Geometer (Xanthotype sospeta)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Crocus Geometer

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Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
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Despite its name, the Crocus Geometer uses many types of trees and shrubs as host plants for its young.

Updated: 01/26/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Crocus Geometer is a yellow moth that has variable markings on its wings. Purple-brown lines cross the wings of some; broken lines can be seen on others. Some individuals are very pale while others are a buttery yellow. Faint spots, specks, and marks may litter the wings or be sparse. The False Crocus Geometer is identical though it is said to be typically a darker yellow. In reality, the two are indistinguishable and may even be a single species. For this reason, the images seen for the Crocus Geometer also appear for the False Crocus Geometer.

A crocus is a small flowering plant that usually blooms in colder seasons. It is often the first flower to emerge, even through snow, in spring. Despite its name, the Crocus Geometer's caterpillar feeds on a diverse group of trees and shrubs. Cherry, elm, maple, and basswood trees as well as rose, viburnum, blueberry, and currant shrubs provide leafy nutrition and great camouflage for its twig-like body. One or two broods can be produced each year.

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: Geometridae
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          Genus: Xanthotype
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            Species: sospeta
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Xanthotype sospeta
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 35mm to 48mm (1.37" to 1.88")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: yellow; brown; red; purple
Descriptors: yellow; brown spots; red spots; purple; speckles; freckles; dots; flying

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 35mm (1.4in) and 48mm (1.9in)
Lo: 35mm
Md: 41.5mm
Hi: 48mm
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
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Crocus Geometer 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 Crocus Geometer. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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