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Red-fringed Emerald Moth (Nemoria bistriaria)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Red-fringed Emerald Moth

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The Red-fringed Emerald is a moth with rusty red tinted edges that contrast nicely with vibrant green wings.

Updated: 04/11/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Some moths are so bright and colorful that they may be mistaken for a butterfly; the Red-fringed Emerald could be one of them. A member of the Emerald Moth genus, the Red-fringed Emerald resembles its relatives like the Red-bordered Emerald Moth. This species is bright green and has thin white lines that stretch across its wings like other Emeralds. Where the Red-fringed Emerald differs is at the bottom edges of the wings where its white fringed is slightly tipped with a dark red color. The abdomen has large yellow dots on it and it lacks the small black distal spots on the forewings that some other Emerald Moths have. The recognizable jewel-toned green color it is named for is not its only shade. Some of this species are a more lime green while others are actually brown, or a mix of both colors. Two families (broods) can be produced every year; one in the spring and one in the summer. The timing of the butterfly's beginnings has an effect on the color it will be.

Caterpillars feed on woody plants so both offspring and adult Red-fringed Emeralds are found in the same forests and woodlands. Larvae are considered 'inchworms' because they move one inch at a time. They propel the head and front of the body forward and then bring up the rear, creating an arch in the middle of the body. Birch, walnut, and oak trees are popular hosts for the hungry larvae. Adults are attracted to lights at night so look for them near porches and other bright areas at dusk.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

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

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Geometridae
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          Genus: Nemoria
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            Species: bistriaria

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Nemoria bistriaria
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 22mm to 25mm (0.86" to 0.98")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: green; white; yellow; red; brown
Descriptors: flying; lines; wavy; butterfly

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 22mm (0.9in) and 25mm (1.0in)
Lo: 22mm
Md: 23.5mm
Hi: 25mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Red-fringed Emerald 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 Red-fringed Emerald Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

Similar Insects

Similar insects to the Red-fringed Emerald Moth that are associated with or commonly mistaken for...

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