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Variable Tropic (Hemeroplanis scopulepes)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Variable Tropic



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Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
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A large yellow and brown moth, the Variable Tropic lives up to its name in every way.



Updated: 07/15/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Found mostly in the hot and humid U.S. Southeast and throughout Mexico, the Variable Tropic's range extends well into Central America. Its appearance can be vastly different between individuals. A yellow upper half and purple-brown lower half is one variation. Other moths are completely brown, but retain the separating line near the bottom of the wings. This moth may also be completely yellow moth with some brown spots, or no brown spots. All have a wide wingspan that can cover most of a human palm. The bottoms of the wings are rounded, and a common resting position has the wings partly spread open. Some of these variations make it a difficult moth to identify.



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




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Erebidae
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          Genus: Hemeroplanis
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            Species: scopulepes
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Hemeroplanis scopulepes
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 13mm to 15mm (0.51" to 0.59")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: yellow; purple; brown
Descriptors: top yellow; bottom purple brown; brown spots; flying; rounded wings
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 13mm (0.5in) and 15mm (0.6in)
Lo: 13mm
Md: 14mm
Hi: 15mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
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State of Maine graphic
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State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi 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
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 Variable Tropic 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 Variable Tropic. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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