Salt marsh moths (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Estigmene acrea) can be found throughout most of North America, and are often seen near lights at night. While they do inhabit salt marshes, they’re equally at home in fields, open woodlands, meadows, and prairies. The larvae are generalists that will feed on a wide variety of plants, both wild and cultivated.
When these moths are threatened they often drop to the ground and release a foul smell from glands beneath their wings. This defense mechanism makes some predators think twice about eating these otherwise vulnerable, soft-bodied insects.