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Wavy-lined Emerald Moth (Synchlora aerata)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Wavy-lined Emerald Moth

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The bright green color of the Wavy-lined Emerald Moth proves that butterflies aren't the only cheery Lepidopterans.

Updated: 01/06/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Wavy-lined Emerald Moths have two sets of thin white lines crossing their bodies from wing to wing. Both have small dips at the veins in the wings which creates a wavy, almost scalloped appearance. The body has a bright white line running down the 'spine'. Some small white lines branch out from it closer to the head. This moth rests with its wings spread flat, giving an observer time to notice the pale green fringe along the edges of the wings. They are nocturnal and attracted to lights.

Wavy-lined Emerald Moths overwinter in part of the larval stage. They can produce two or more broods each year. The yellow and brown caterpillars cover themselves in pieces of plant material like flower petals. This helps them blend into the plant they are feeding on. It also gives them bumps and edges that make it difficult to discern that it is actually a caterpillar and not a strange kind of insect. Look for them as they feed on flowers and shrubs like asters, coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, raspberry bushes, sagebrush, ragweed, and goldenrod.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Helpful insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Geometridae
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          Genus: Synchlora
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            Species: aerata

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Synchlora aerata
Other Name(s): Camouflaged Looper
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 13mm to 24mm (0.51" to 0.94")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: green; white
Descriptors: flat; flying; helpful

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 13mm (0.5in) and 24mm (0.9in)
Lo: 13mm
Md: 18.5mm
Hi: 24mm

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 Wavy-lined 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 Wavy-lined Emerald Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

Similar Insects

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