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Honey Locust Moth (Syssphinx bicolor)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Honey Locust Moth

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Image Credit: Joe V. from AR
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Image Credit: Donna V. from Topeka, KS
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Image Credit: Joe V. from AR
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Two color variations can somewhat complicate identifying this moth, but a few features are helpful, if they are present.

Updated: 08/26/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
While many individuals are some shade of orange, others may be dark gray. The forewings have two small white spots and are covered in dark freckles. A dark line crosses the wings, and it may serve to separate a darker upper wing from a paler lower wing. Hindwings, when revealed, are bright pink with a border that is close in color to the bottoms of the forewings.

Caterpillars feed on the leaves of the honey locust tree as well as Kentucky coffee trees. Up to three broods can be produced each year. ©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

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

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Saturniidae
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          Genus: Syssphinx
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            Species: bicolor

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Syssphinx bicolor
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 47mm to 67mm (1.85" to 2.63")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: orange; gray; brown; pink
Descriptors: two-toned; two white dots; twin white spots; fuchsia hindwing; hot pink under wing; dark freckles; flying

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 47mm (1.9in) and 67mm (2.6in)
Lo: 47mm
Md: 57mm
Hi: 67mm

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 Honey Locust 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 Honey Locust Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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