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Parthenice Tiger Moth (Apantesis parthenice)


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



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Image Credit: Emily M. from Stambaugh, KY
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Image Credit: Daphne R.H. taken in Pine Mills, TX
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Image Credit: Daphne R.H. taken in Pine Mills, TX
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Image Credit: Kristen B. taken in Pennington County, SD
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A mosaic of black panes and ivory veins cut sharp lines across the wings of the Parthenice Tiger Moth.



Updated: 07/07/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Like most Tiger Moths, the Parthenice Tiger has bold coloring and distinctive patterns, making it easier to identify them. The wings are covered in triangles of black windowpanes bordered in tan frames. A plethora of thin veins criss-cross the black shapes unlike the wings in other related moths like the Harnessed Tiger Moth. The hindwings reveal a shock of bright pink when wings are flat and spread open. Small black patches border these wings and a crescent-shaped black spot stands alone at the center edge of the hindwing. The salmon-pink abdomen has a line of black dots running down the 'spine' and black coloring on the ventral (belly) side as well. The black antennae have short fine lashes on them.

The larvae of the Parthenice Tiger Moth is toxic and are generally left alone by birds, small mammals, and other typical caterpillar predators. Covered in dark stiff hairs, the Parthenice Tiger Moth caterpillars eat the leaves of dandelions, ironweed, and thistle plants. They are not considered a pest insect. Two broods can be produced each year. Adults can be seen from early summer through early autumn. They are nocturnal, but are attracted to lights at night. Look for them in fields, parks, and at the edges of forests and woodlands.




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


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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: parthenice
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Apantesis parthenice
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 18mm to 28mm (0.70" to 1.10")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black, tan, pink
Descriptors: patches, lines, diagonal, pink, fuchsia, red, wings, flying
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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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Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Parthenice 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 Parthenice Tiger Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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