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Leconte's Haploa (Haploa lecontei)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Leconte's Haploa



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Image Credit: Michelle H. from Kalamazoo, MI
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Image Credit: Peter from Detroit, MI
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Image Credit: Carolyn F. from Plain, WI
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Leconte's Haploa Moth is a master in trigonometry using both its body shape and wing pattern to showcase triangles in many ways.



Updated: 08/02/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The typical resting position of Leconte's Haploa makes it look like a isosceles triangle. It holds its black and white wings flat and they touch each other all down the length of the body. This creates a thick black midline that splits halfway down the length of the moth, angling toward the wing tips. The overall effect looks like an upside-down 'Y' on the back of the moth. Each forewing is bordered in black with exception to the wing tips. This clear and unique mark, however, is not the only variation that this moth has. Some individuals have black angled lines reaching in from the outer edge. Others are mostly black with white spots on them. Still others lack much black coloring at all and appear almost completely white. These wild variations within this species makes it very difficult to accurately identify one, especially if it resembles the Confused Haploa or the Reversed Haploa. All Leconte's Haploa Moths have an orange head with black eyes. Legs are dark on one side and light on the other, like arms that get an uneven tan in the summer.

Females lay spherical yellow eggs on the leaves of host plants. Caterpillars are black with a thin yellow line down the back and thick yellow lines on each side. The entire body is covered in short spiky hairs. The face and head are black. This species feeds on an assortment of tree and shrub leaves including apple, peach, and blackberry. Look for activity from both adult and caterpillar from late spring through the summer.




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




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Erebidae
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          Genus: Haploa
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            Species: lecontei
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Haploa lecontei
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 19mm to 26mm (0.74" to 1.02")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: white, black, orange
Descriptors: peace sign, triangle, Y shape, orange head, flying

Lecontes-Haploa-Moth Video(s)




A Haploa Moth caterpillar trekking across a chair cushion.
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 19mm (0.7in) and 26mm (1.0in)
Lo: 19mm
Md: 22.5mm
Hi: 26mm
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
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Leconte's Haploa 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 Leconte's Haploa. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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