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Orange-tipped Oakworm Moth (Anisota senatoria)

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

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The Orange-tipped Oakworm ranges over much of the eastern part of the continent, nibbling on the plethora of oak trees growing across states and provinces.

Updated: 09/09/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Similar in appearance to the Spiny Oakworm Moth, Orange-tipped Oakworm Moths have a purple line crossing the lower forewings and an obvious white spot. The Orange-tipped Oakworm has a darker orange flush on its furry thorax than the Spiny Oakworm Moth. The Orange-tipped Oakworm Moth is covered with faint purple specks though males may lack them. The 'shoulder' area lacks a purple band seen in the Spiny Oakworm Moth. Like other relatives, it is sexually dimorphic and the male is smaller than the female.

The larvae of this moth are called oakworms because these caterpillars feed on oak leaves. Many will share a branch and completely defoliate it. Extensive feeding from Orange-tipped Oakworms elevates them to a pest level. Caterpillars are black and orange with a line of pointy, almost spiky, bumps along the side and upper dorsal (back) area. Long, black antennae protrude from behind the head and point forward. Younger caterpillars have orange bodies and a black head. Older ones have black bodies with four thin, orange lines running down the top of the body, and two lines along each side. Adults do not eat. Look for them in flight in early summer in areas where oaks are present, even during daylight hours when males actively seek out mates.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Saturniidae
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          Genus: Anisota
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            Species: senatoria
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Anisota senatoria
Other Name(s): Orange-striped Oakworm, Peigler's Oakworm Moth
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 30mm to 50mm (1.18" to 1.96")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: yellow; purple; pink; orange; white
Descriptors: purple half wing; white dot; flying; freckles; speckled; furry legs

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 30mm (1.2in) and 50mm (2.0in)
Lo: 30mm
Md: 40mm
Hi: 50mm
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 Orange-tipped Oakworm 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-tipped Oakworm Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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