Schizura ipomoeae

The Morning-Glory Prominent Moth has a wingspan of 1 7/8 inches. The forewing is highly variable but is usually gray-brown with fine black streaks and spots. The reniform spot is cream-colored surrounded by black. The jagged AM and PM lines are double but sometimes indistinct. The male’s hindwing is dirty white and the female’s is dark gray. The caterpillar grows to a little more than 1 1/2 inches. It is brown with white chevrons over the 1st to 3rd and 6th to 8th abdominal segments. The sides of the thorax are olive green. On each side of the head there is a band of thin brown stripes. It is similar to the Unicorn Caterpillar but it is larger and has the 5th abdominal segment distinctly humped.

The frequency of occurrence is not known. The adult moth in photos A & B was photographed at Fontenelle Forest Nature Center in mid-August and photos C & D were taken in late June. Adults are attracted to artificial lights.

The larval foodplant is cottonwood and poplar. TThe larva eats the leaves of basswood, dogwood, elm, hackberry, hawthorn, maple, oak and many other woody plants. The caterpillar chews out a semi-circular notch on the edge of a leaf and positions itself in the notch. In this position it resembles a dead curled-over leaf-edge thus becoming less susceptible to predation.

here are two generations each year. This species overwinters as a pupa.

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