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Orange-patched Smoky Moth (Pyromorpha dimidiata)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Orange-patched Smoky Moth

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The aposematic coloring of the Orange-patched Smoky Moth convinces would-be predators to believe that they taste disgusting.

Updated: 01/04/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The orange and black body of the adult Orange-patched Smoky Moth looks very similar to a group of beetles that harbor a toxin, making them distasteful to anything that may want to eat them. The Orange-patched Smoky Moth is believed to have a chemical defense, too, but this highly visible mimicry is pretty effective without any other efforts. This species of moth looks almost identical to the Yellow-and-Black Lichen Moth, save for the black all along the Smoky moth's inner wings. The antennae of the Orange-patched Smoky Moth are black with a comb-like fringe. The wings, though solidly colored, are translucent, a characteristic that is not easy to see when all wings are overlapping.

Larvae are believed to eat dead leaves and live among the leaf litter on the ground. Adults are active in the daytime from late spring to mid-summer. They are thought to drink nectar. Look for these conspicuous moths in, or near, forests.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Rounded insect body icon
Exclamation mark insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Zygaenidae
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          Genus: Pyromorpha
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            Species: dimidiata
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Pyromorpha dimidiata
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 18mm to 28mm (0.70" to 1.10")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: orange; black
Descriptors: two-toned; half; rounded; feathery; toxic; flying

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 18mm (0.7in) and 28mm (1.1in)
Lo: 18mm
Md: 23mm
Hi: 28mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of 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 Orange-patched Smoky 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 Orange-patched Smoky Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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