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Long-horned Slug Moth (Adoneta bicaudata)

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

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The name for the Long-horned Slug Moth stems from its caterpillar's long antennae that dwarf the similar protrusions at its rear.

Updated: 07/07/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Not much is known about the life history of this species. The Long-horned Slug Moth adult is light brown with furry tan legs. Thin ivory crescents lines grace the lower part of each forewing. Dark brown spots form a curve near the bottom edge.

The larval form of this moth gets more attention. As a member of the Slug Moth family, the caterpillar looks more like a snail without its shell than a typical worm-like caterpillar. Its fleshy green body is oblong in shape and has groups of short bristles on it. The dorsal (back) side has a wide yellow-orange band that runs the length of the 'spine'. Two reddish-purple diamonds are linked to each other near the head with three more reddish-purple diamonds near the rear. A gap between these front and rear sets resembles a break in the diamond chain. Two long, red antennae extend from the head and two shorter ones protrude from the rear. Both sets are covered in short hairs.

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


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Limacodidae
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          Genus: Adoneta
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            Species: bicaudata
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Adoneta bicaudata
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 18mm to 22mm (0.70" to 0.86")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: tan, white, green, red, purple, yellow
Descriptors: snail, spikes, knobs, spines, patches, flying

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 18mm (0.7in) and 22mm (0.9in)
Lo: 18mm
Md: 20mm
Hi: 22mm
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 New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
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 Long-horned 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 Long-horned Slug Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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