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Ruby Quaker Moth (Orthosia rubescens)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Ruby Quaker Moth

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Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
Full-sized image of the Ruby-Quaker-Moth Thumbnail image of the Ruby-Quaker-Moth

Aside from a reddish-brown hue on its wings, the features of the Ruby Quaker are so variable, identifying one can prove difficult.

Updated: 07/09/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The common Ruby Quaker is a moth of many variations. Forewings may be dark brown or pale ivory, or something between these two poles. An auburn tone in many individuals informs the 'ruby' part of its name. Two large spots on each forewing are separated by a brown patch. The thorax is furry and the antennae have comb-like teeth on both sides of them. This moth is nocturnal, but is attracted to lights. It may also come to a sugar bait, usually made from ripened mashed bananas and sugar. Adults are most active in early spring and summer.

Caterpillars for this species feed on a variety of deciduous tree leaves. Aspen, cherry, maple, oak, and poplar are common food sources. One brood is produced each year, but there are enough eggs to allow this moth to be a common sight every spring.

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


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Noctuidae
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          Genus: Orthosia
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            Species: rubescens
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Orthosia rubescens
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 18mm to 20mm (0.70" to 0.78")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, tan, ivory
Descriptors: reddish-brown, flying,

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 18mm (0.7in) and 20mm (0.8in)
Lo: 18mm
Md: 19mm
Hi: 20mm
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 Ruby Quaker 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 Ruby Quaker Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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