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Mexican Tiger Moth (Apantesis proxima)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Mexican Tiger Moth



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When it wants to, the Mexican Tiger Moth surprises observers with an unexpected pop of bright pink.



Updated: 07/07/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Mexican Tiger Moth has a myriad of geometric black shapes on its creamy white wings. The upper part of the forewings has black blocks, the center area has thinner dashes, and the tips of the wings sport triangular shapes. The furry white thorax has three black lines on it: one runs down the center and two are on either side of it. The thickness of these lines varies with individuals. Hair near the face and on the upper legs has an orange-pink tint. The abdomen is bright pink with black dots down the 'spine', and these dots may even connect to form a line. Smaller hindwings are visible only when wings are spread open. Males have white hindwings while females have bright pink hindwings with black blotches near the bottom edges.

Despite their name, Mexican Tiger Moths are native to states in both Mexico and the western part of the U.S.. Mexican Tiger Moth adults are active from spring through most of autumn. Caterpillars are covered in hairs and likely eat the leaves of herbaceous plants. Many generations can be produced each year.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Hairy insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Erebidae
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          Genus: Apantesis
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            Species: proxima
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Apantesis proxima
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 14mm to 20mm (0.55" to 0.78")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: white; ivory; black; orange; pink
Descriptors: flying, bright, triangles, stripes, furry
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 14mm (0.6in) and 20mm (0.8in)
Lo: 14mm
Md: 17mm
Hi: 20mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
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State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
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State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
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
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Mexican Tiger 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 Mexican Tiger Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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