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Double-toothed Prominent (Nerice bidentata)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Double-toothed Prominent



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The Double-toothed Prominent does not have literal teeth, but the adult and larva both have their own kind of fang-like projections.



Updated: 09/23/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Double-toothed Prominent is a two-toned moth: part dark brown, and part tan or light brown. The colors run vertically with dark brown on the outer wings and the lighter color in the middle. In two places where the colors meet on each wing, the dark brown pushes into the middle in a pointed shape that resembles fangs. A dark, hairy round patch sits on the thorax.

The caterpillar is peculiar. It is green and slender, but along the dorsal (back) side sit pairs of nubs on many segments. They are almost fang-like as well. Some are longer than others, giving rise to calling this caterpillar a stegosaurus, after the dinosaur with pointed plates along its spine. This strange shape helps the larva conceal itself along the edge of elm leaves. When curled on the edge of the leaf, the caterpillar's bumpy ridge blends in well with the leaf's tiny serrations. Since elm leaves are a host plant, this camouflage is certainly helpful to the larva while it feeds. Two broods can be produced each year.




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


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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Notodontidae
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          Genus: Nerice
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            Species: bidentata
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Nerice bidentata
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 21mm (0.78" to 0.82")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, tan
Descriptors: spiky, hump, bumps, two, two-toned, flying
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Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 20mm (0.8in) and 21mm (0.8in)
Lo: 20mm
Md: 20.5mm
Hi: 21mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Double-toothed Prominent 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 Double-toothed Prominent. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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