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Hitched Arches (Melanchra adjuncta)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Hitched Arches

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A hardy moth, Hitched Arches can be found in natural areas, but it also thrives in desolate places.

Updated: 07/06/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
A dark moth, Hitched Arches is accented with many white markings. A large, bean-shaped spot filled with black sits on the lower center of each forewing. Above that lays a round spot that may have a grayish center. White spots are also near the head by the 'shoulders'. The white arches that cross the wings are broken or fragmented. A black-and-white pattern sits at the bottom edge of the wings. Legs are black with narrow white bands.

Caterpillars are bright green or brown with darker diagonal marks on the 'back' and sides. The head color is the same as the body color and has three fine white lines, the center of which continues down the middle of the back. A somewhat squared-off hump is at the rear end. This larva feeds on alder, elm and willow trees as well as shorter plants like clover, alfalfa, plantain, and trefoil. Two broods can be produced each year.

This moth is common in areas like the edge of woods and old fields. They are attracted to lights and rest with their inner wings slightly raised above the body, in a tent-like shape.

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


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Noctuidae
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          Genus: Melanchra
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            Species: adjuncta
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Melanchra adjuncta
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 19mm to 21mm (0.74" to 0.82")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; white; gray
Descriptors: white bean spot; checkered fringe; black and white bottom

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 19mm (0.7in) and 21mm (0.8in)
Lo: 19mm
Md: 20mm
Hi: 21mm
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 Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
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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 Hitched Arches 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 Hitched Arches. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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