UNICORN PROMINENT

Schizura unicornis
PROMINENT MOTH FAMILY (Notodontidae)

Description
The Unicorn Prominent Moth has a wingspan of about 1 inch. Like most Prominent moths it has a crest of hairlike scales along the inner margin of the forewing. The forewing is brown and gray. The basal area is tan or pale green with scalloped black lines. There is a white dash near the anal angle. The subterminal line is marked with a large straw-colored patch. There are sharp, black marks in the subterminal area. The hindwing is dirty white shaded with gray on the male and dark gray on the female. These moths hold their wings in a tent position. The larva is bright green in the 2nd and 3rd thoracic segments. The head and the rest of the body is brown. There is a prominent hornlike protuberance on the 1st abdominal segment and a smaller one on the 8th abdominal segment. The caterpillar grows to about 1.25 inches.

Occurrence
The frequency of occurrence is not known. The Unicorn Prominent moth was photographed at Neale Woods in early September 2012 coming to artificial light. The adults fly from April into September.

Comments
The larva eats leaves of elm, hickory, maple, oak and willow. The species overwinters as a larva in leaf litter in a flimsy cocoon.

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