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The Gem (Orthonama obstipata)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the The Gem

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The Gem has a male and female form and they can spot each other in a crowd, even when people struggle to connect them.

Updated: 06/01/2023; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Gem is a species of sexually dimorphic moth. This means the male and female have some feature that differs between them (beyond genitalia). In this case, it is coloration. Females are generally a dark maroon-brown with a white discal spot on each wing; males are a lighter tawny brown with a dark discal spot on each wing. Both genders have a dark band or swath of color encompassing the spots, and a dark dash-like mark at the tips of the forewings.

The Gem is a strong flier and migrates long distances from the southern parts of its range to the northern parts in the summer. It cannot survive the harsh winters up north, but may be seen year round in its warmer territories. Caterpillars feed on low-growing plants like dock, ragwort, and mums. Two or more broods can be produced each year.©InsectIdentification.org

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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: Geometridae
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          Genus: Orthonama
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            Species: obstipata

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Orthonama obstipata
Other Name(s): Gem Moth
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 23mm (0.59" to 0.90")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; white; black
Descriptors: maroon; dot; spot; dark; flying

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 15mm (0.6in) and 23mm (0.9in)
Lo: 15mm
Md: 19mm
Hi: 23mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the The Gem 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 The Gem. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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