WHITE-BLOTCHED HETEROCAMPA

Heterocampa umbrata
PROMINENT MOTH FAMILY (Notodontidae)

Description
This moth has a wingspan of 2 1/4 -2 1/2 inches. The forewing is mottled gray, whitish, and brown with black lines. There is a whitish blotch toward the apex of the forewing with black slashes through it. The hindwings are pale tan with brown across the edge. The top of the thorax and upper sections of the legs (femur and tibia) are covered with long gray hairs. The body is mottled like the wings and has black crescents across it. This moth was identified by volunteer experts at Bugguide from photos.

Occurrence
This is probably a common moth in Fontenelle Forest and Neale Woods. It was photographed at Fontenelle Nature Center in early October.

Comments
The larva is about 1 3/4 inches in length. The caterpillar can be green, tan, pink or reddish brown with variable patterns. It has white “saddles” along the top of the body. The head is tan-pink with a thin black line around the face. The first instar has long, branched black antlers and black dorsal spines over the abdominal segments. It becomes smooth in the later instars. It is well camouflaged when feeding as it shaped like a leaf edge. The larvae feed on oaks.

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