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Jewel-tailed Slug Moth (Packardia geminata)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Jewel-tailed Slug Moth

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Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
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The Jewel-tailed Slug Moth has a cluster of white dots reminiscent of a strand of pearls on its wings.

Updated: 07/06/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Most individual Jewel-tailed Slug Moths are light brown with a dark brown inner patch on the forewings. Some are medium brown with a very dark patch that better highlights the white dots on them. At the inner, bottom edge of the forewings, sits a trio of white spots though one of the spots may be hardly visible. The center spot is larger than the others, much like a necklace showcases the largest gem in the middle of the strand.

The caterpillar of this moth looks like a slug and lacks the typical worm-like shape seen in most moths and butterflies. This larva's green body is wide and oval-shaped with a raised ridge on the center of the back. A 'tail' extends from the rear end. It feeds on trees like birch, hickory, oak, and spruce. As members of the Metallic Wood Borer family, Jewel Beetles are usually found near their host tree. As borer beetles do, the larvae tunnel their way throughout the interior of the trunk and emerge from the bark when they are ready to pupate on the ground. Adults are a lustrous and bright color with textured elytra (wing coverings). There are a variety of native species found throughout North America, and there is room for more study about them.

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: Limacodidae
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          Genus: Packardia
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            Species: geminata
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Packardia geminata
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 8mm to 12mm (0.31" to 0.47")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; white
Descriptors: trio white dots; three white spots; flying; tail up

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 8mm (0.3in) and 12mm (0.5in)
Lo: 8mm
Md: 10mm
Hi: 12mm
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 Jewel-tailed Slug 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 Jewel-tailed Slug Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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