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Eyed Paectes Moth (Paectes oculatrix)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Eyed Paectes Moth

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Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
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Huge, kaleidoscopic eyes on the Eyed Paectes change expression depending on how wide the wings are spread.

Updated: 09/25/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
A nocturnal moth, the Eyed Paectes is worth staying up late to see. It is drawn to lights, and if one happens by, the large eyespots on its wings will captivate almost any observer. Big and brown with white, black, and blue in them, the eyespots sit at the bottom edge of the rounded forewings. When the wings are spread out wide, the eyespots have a steady look. When the wings are flat and close, the eyes convey almost a sad, droopy appearance. Streaks of crimson red or pinkish-orange run down the sides of the wings and a dark purple-hue may grace the outer edges. Creamy white patches sit near the base of the wings by the thorax, and also border the eyespots, brightening the area around them. Antennae have comb-like teeth, and the legs and abdomen are brown.

Like a few other moths in this family, the caterpillar feeds on poison ivy. When spotted, surveying the foliage around it is wise in order to avoid contact with the toxic urushiol oil produced by poison ivy leaves. The oil is infamous for creating an allergic reaction in most people that results in red, itchy blisters that can take weeks to heal. The bright green caterpillar is plump and randomly covered with small yellow specks. Tips of the prolegs, the ?extra? legs in the middle of the body, are curved and white. Two or more broods can be produced each year.

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


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Euteliidae
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          Genus: Paectes
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            Species: oculatrix
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Paectes oculatrix
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 14mm to 16mm (0.55" to 0.62")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; gray; purple; pink; peach; white; salmon; black
Descriptors: multicolored; eyespots; marble; big eyes; rounded wings; peach streaks; purple violet edges; flying

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 14mm (0.6in) and 16mm (0.6in)
Lo: 14mm
Md: 15mm
Hi: 16mm
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 Eyed Paectes 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 Eyed Paectes Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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