|Ailanthus Webworm Moth - Atteva aurea |
Hodges#2401 Family: Yponomeutidae (Ermine Moths)
Live adult moths photographed at McKee Marsh, DuPage County, Illinois. Wingspan= 19mm
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Ailanthus webworm moth is the lone representative of this genus in North America. This very common moth ranges from Ontario and New York south to Florida, west to Nebraska and Texas, and south into Mexico. Gregarious larvae are found in webs on their host plant, Ailanthus, aka tree of heaven, stinking sumac, or varnish tree. My friend calls it the stinking spunk tree. No explanation needed.
Often planted as a fast-growing ornamental, this Asian native has become invasive in North America. This hardy native moth has quickly adapted and expanded its range and numbers along with the inexorable march of the tree .
Order Lepidoptera: Moths. Unlike the butterflies, moths are usually nocturnal. Many moths and their caterpillars are major agricultural pests in large parts of the world. Moths in the family Tineidae are commonly regarded as pests because their larvae eat fabrics, clothes and blankets made from natural fibers such as wool or silk. Moths in the genus Farinalis feed on stored grain, flour, corn meal and other milled grain products.
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