Random Insect: Ailanthus webworm moth

ailanthuswebworm

Ailanthus webworm moth (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae: Atteva aurea) photographed 07/18/2013 near Palmyra, Michigan.

Ailanthus webworm moths (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae: Atteva aurea) are relatively common natives of eastern North America. The colorfully-patterned adults can usually be found near old fields and meadows where they sip wildflower nectar. Most moths are nocturnal, but these individuals can often be found feeding during the day.

ailanthuswebworm2

Ailanthus webworm moth (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae: Atteva aurea) photographed 07/18/2013 near Palmyra, Michigan.

Unlike the adults, the larvae are usually found among deciduous trees and shrubs. The gregarious young form webs around foliage, giving them protection as they feed on the leaves. Their current preferred host is tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima, Simaroubaceae), an aggressive invasive species imported from China in the eighteenth century.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Ecology, Entomology, Organism Interactions, Random Insect and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Random Insect: Ailanthus webworm moth

  1. Love your informative images.

    Like

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