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Grapevine Epimenis Moth (Psychomorpha epimenis)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Grapevine Epimenis Moth

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Often mistaken for a butterfly, Grapevine Epimenis Moths are springtime flyers with bold colors and a fondness for flowers.

Updated: 07/06/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Grapevine Epimenis Moths are mostly black with a velvety luster or sheen. The end of each forewing has a single, large white spot. When spread open, each black hindwing reveals a long, vibrant red-orange spot along the end of the wing. They drink flower nectar from trees and shrubs in the cherry, swamprivet, hawthorn, and redbud families.

The caterpillar of the Grapevine Epimenis has a red-orange head covered in black speckles. A second red-orange area is near the rear. This has two round black spots that mimic eyes, making it difficult to determine which end is truly a face. The rest of its fleshy body and rear end is covered in thin rings, or bands, of black and white. Caterpillars eat the end buds on grapevines and can be found in vineyards as well as backyards. They often curl a leaf upward and form a type of hammock using their own silk to bind and secure the leaf. Look for activity in spring and early summer.

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


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Noctuidae
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          Genus: Psychomorpha
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            Species: epimenis
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Psychomorpha epimenis
Other Name(s): Grapevine Psychomorpha
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 22mm to 27mm (0.86" to 1.06")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; white; orange
Descriptors: orange, patch, eyespot, shiny, sheen, luster, flying

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 22mm (0.9in) and 27mm (1.1in)
Lo: 22mm
Md: 24.5mm
Hi: 27mm
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 Grapevine Epimenis 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 Grapevine Epimenis Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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