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Spotted Apatelodes (Apatelodes torrefacta)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Spotted Apatelodes



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The curved handstands done by the resting adult Spotted Apatelodes draws almost as much attention as its bright caterpillar.



Updated: 01/03/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
A black spot on each inner forewing of adult Spotted Apaletodes inspired the common name for this moth. This spot may combine with a black patch on the abdomen to form a band of inky color on the taupe wings. Faint wavy or scalloped lines are visible on the lower half of each forewing. The unusual posture this family employs attracts attention. The abdomen curves sharply upward and with spread wings, it looks like the moth is doing a handstand. The black hairs at the tip of the abdomen become more visible in this position. The legs have thick tufts of hair around them.

The highly visible larvae are marveled at as well. Caterpillars are completely covered in wisps of hairs. Younger ones are white, but the older ones are neon yellow. The color is so bright, the caterpillar is hard to miss on green foliage or a brown tree trunk. A clump of long black lashes project from behind the head on the second and third segments and another extends by the rear. Black 'V'-shaped chevrons form a row down the sides of the body. This species eats the leaves of ash, oak, and maple trees. Two broods can be produced each year.

Look for the quirky adults and fuzzy larvae in or near deciduous forests, woodlands, and even more developed areas where their host trees are growing.




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




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Bombycidae
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          Genus: Apatelodes
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            Species: torrefacta
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Apatelodes torrefacta
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 32mm to 46mm (1.25" to 1.81")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, yellow, white, black
Descriptors: camouflage, lines, wavy, upward, tail, tip, flying, hairy, bright, neon, yellow, furry
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 32mm and 46mm
Lo: 32mm
Md: 39mm
Hi: 46mm
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 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
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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 Spotted Apatelodes 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 Spotted Apatelodes. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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