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Drab Prominent (Misogada unicolor)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Drab Prominent

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As its common name suggests, the Drab Prominent is uniformly gray or green, but its larva brings visual interest to the species.

Updated: 08/30/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
A stout, medium-sized moth, the Drab Prominent is a soft shade of green when it first enters the world as an adult. The color fades to a simple gray as it matures. Two vague scalloped lines curve across the wings, which might have visible white dots accentuating each point. The head and thorax are furry and may have a patch of bronze on them.

Cottonwood and sycamore leaves are the primary food sources for the caterpillar. It has a hearty appetite and leaves only the thicker veins behind. With a penchant for wasting so little leaf material, it is no wonder that the caterpillar looks overstuffed and bloated. It may be green, brown, red, or purple depending on its maturity, and two fleshy tails extend from the rear area. Green ones have green heads and a thick white stripe running down the 'spine' that is bordered on both sides by thin orange lines. Dark specks are clustered on each side near the head, but become scarce down the sides of the body. Brown ones develop more red pigmentation, and that rosy blush shows in the head and on the stripe more than the body. Red and purple caterpillars boast a flashy pink stripe and a dark head.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

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

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Notodontidae
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          Genus: Misogada
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            Species: unicolor

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Misogada unicolor
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 24mm to 26mm (0.94" to 1.02")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: gray; green
Descriptors: scallop; white dots; flying; red body pink stripe caterpillar

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 24mm (0.9in) and 26mm (1.0in)
Lo: 24mm
Md: 25mm
Hi: 26mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
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Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
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 Drab 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 Drab Prominent. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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