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Showy Emerald Moth (Dichorda iridaria)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Showy Emerald Moth



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Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
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The brilliant display of green color on the Showy Emerald is perfectly partnered with crisp. angled white lines.



Updated: 07/09/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Showy Emerald Moth lives up to its name. The green wings may have a bluish hue, but they are bold even without it. When wings are open flat, an oblique white line crosses all four wings to form a recognizable 'V'. Each upper forewing has a short white line near the 'shoulders' as well. All four rounded wings have a single, tiny black dot near the center and all are rimmed with white fringe. The outer edge of the forewings appears dirty, with dark speckling near the head and face. Antennae are white and usually tucked under the wings. The body is also white and the legs have some black on the joints.

Caterpillars eat poison ivy leaves, which exude urushiol, an oil that most people are allergic to which results in tremendously itchy blisters that take weeks to heal, even if they are broken open. They also feed on winged sumac shrubs and staghorn sumac trees. They are brown and textured, with a flat back covered in brown plates. Two broods can be produced each year.




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: Geometridae
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          Genus: Dichorda
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            Species: iridaria
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Dichorda iridaria
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 30mm (0.78" to 1.18")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: green, white, black
Descriptors: black dots, white lines, v-shape, flying
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Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 20mm (0.8in) and 30mm (1.2in)
Lo: 20mm
Md: 25mm
Hi: 30mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
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State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
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State of Idaho graphic
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State of Maine graphic
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State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
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
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
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 Showy 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 Showy Emerald Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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