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Mottled Gray Carpet Moth (Cladara limitaria)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Mottled Gray Carpet Moth

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Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
Full-sized image of the Mottled-Gray-Carpet-Moth Thumbnail image of the Mottled-Gray-Carpet-Moth

While the pattern design remains the same, the color scheme varies per individual of the somewhat inappropriately named Mottled Gray Carpet Moth.

Updated: 07/07/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Not to be confused with the destructive Clothes Moth Trichophaga tapetzella, the Mottled Gray Carpet Moth does not attack fabric or carpet fibers. Its coloring is, however, a bit mottled, and can vary between shades of gray or brown. Wings may exhibit flecks of green or yellow. A dark wavy line spans the distance across both forewings. A short, slanted dash nestles just above each trough on the outer wing edges. Hindwings are hairy and gray with a white fringe. Almost any of these individuals blend in with tree trunks thanks to such a busy wing pattern. Not much about life history is known regarding this species. Caterpillars are known to feed on the foliage of sheep laurel, a flowering shrub, and various conifers, but beyond this information, more study is needed.

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


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Geometridae
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          Genus: Cladara
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            Species: limitaria
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Cladara limitaria
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 21mm to 28mm (0.82" to 1.10")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; white; gray; green; brown; yellow
Descriptors: wavy; flying; green; specks

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 21mm (0.8in) and 28mm (1.1in)
Lo: 21mm
Md: 24.5mm
Hi: 28mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Mottled Gray Carpet 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 Mottled Gray Carpet Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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