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Wild Forget-me-not Moth (Gnophaela latipennis)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Wild Forget-me-not Moth

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Image Credit: Peter K., taken in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, CO
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Image Credit: David B., taken on the Nate Creek Trail in Ouray County, CO
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Image Credit: Dave S. from OR
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A bold, colorful moth, an orange neckline accents the wide black wings with their bright white patches on the Wild Forget-me-not Moth.

Updated: 08/16/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Wild Forget-me-not Moths are found in the western coastal states of the U.S. as well as Nevada and Arizona. Their range is above sea level and they are often seen flying near forest openings, fields, and meadows. The equally bold caterpillar is black with a yellow line running down the 'spine' and one on each side. The body is covered in black hairs that grow from black-and-blue bumps on each segment. The glossy head is red or orange-red. This caterpillar feeds on the leaves of hound's tongue, forget-me-not, California stickseed and bluebells.

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: Gnophaela
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            Species: latipennis
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Gnophaela latipennis
Other Name(s): Sierran Percopid Moth
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 26mm (0.59" to 1.02")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; white; orange
Descriptors: wide black wings; white spots; three big white marks; four small white marks; orange face; orange on head; flying; blue black body; white on bottom wings

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 15mm (0.6in) and 26mm (1.0in)
Lo: 15mm
Md: 20.5mm
Hi: 26mm
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 Wild Forget-me-not 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 Wild Forget-me-not Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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