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Roadside Sallow Moth (Metaxaglaea viatica)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Roadside Sallow Moth



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Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
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The rich brown and deep purple colors of the Roadside Sallow are a healthy hue for this furry forest moth.



Updated: 07/09/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
This brown forest dweller has a stout body and light brown wings. Two bubble-shaped reniform spots on each forewing almost touch. Two purple lines cross the wings; one is near the head, the other near the bottom of the wings. Rows of dark brown scalloped lines form a border. The smaller hindwings are gray with a pale pink fringe along the bottom. The Roadside Sallow Moth usually has its wings flat, hiding the hindwings.

The brown mottled brown caterpillar feeds on mountain ash trees as well as apple, crabapple and cherry trees. It could pass for a branch or part of the trunk of the tree.




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


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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Noctuidae
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          Genus: Metaxaglaea
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            Species: viatica
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Metaxaglaea viatica
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 22mm to 28mm (0.86" to 1.10")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, purple, gray, black
Descriptors: dotted lined, dots, flying
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Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 22mm (0.9in) and 28mm (1.1in)
Lo: 22mm
Md: 25mm
Hi: 28mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
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State of Delware graphic
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State of Maine graphic
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State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
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State of Ohio graphic
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State of South Carolina graphic
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State of Tennessee graphic
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State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
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State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Roadside Sallow 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 Roadside Sallow Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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