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Small Necklace Moth (Hypsoropha hormos)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Small Necklace Moth

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A curved row of pearly white dots give the Small Necklace Moth character and distinction.

Updated: 07/16/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Like a short string of pearls, the white dots on the forewings of the Small Necklace Moth are best viewed from above. When the wings rest flat and cinch together over the moth's body, the inspiration for its common name becomes clear. Smaller white dots increase in diameter closer to the wing's inner edge. In addition to this feature, the peculiar colors of some individual Small Necklace Moths offer even more to admire. Hues of green, purple, and blue seem to blend across the forewing, giving the otherwise brown moth a bit more visual interest. It is not a large moth, but it garners attention when sighted.

Caterpillars for this moth feed on the leaves of persimmon and sassafras trees. They are green, and have large black spots between a series of segments with pairs of tiny black dots. Adults are on the wing from mid-spring through summer. Look for them at the edges of woodlands and fields.

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


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Erebidae
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          Genus: Hypsoropha
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            Species: hormos
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Hypsoropha hormos
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 14mm to 18mm (0.55" to 0.70")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, white, purple, green, blue, black
Descriptors: white dots, increasing size, four spots, eight, bruise, flying

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 14mm (0.6in) and 18mm (0.7in)
Lo: 14mm
Md: 16mm
Hi: 18mm
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 Small Necklace 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 Small Necklace Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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