Red Twin Spot Moth – Xanthorhoe ferrugata

Red Twin Spot Moth – X ferrugata color photo Red Twin Spot Moth

Family Geometridae
Also commonly called “dark barred twin spot carpet” moth.

Geometridae is a large family of moths containing approximately 26,000 species. Most moths in this family have slender abdomens and hold their wings flat, with hindwings visible. The name geometer means “earth-measurer” in Latin. It refers to the caterpillar’s peculiar method of locomotion; they lack the prolegs of most other lepidoptera, and move by grabbing the substrate with their front legs then looping the body upwards to pull the back legs forward, then reversing the process.

The caterpillars are commonly called inchworms, loopers, or spanworms.

color photo Red Twin Spot Moth camouflaged on tree barkHow’s this for camouflage?

color photo Red Twin Spot Moth camouflaged on tree barkAccording to Handfield (1999) and Covell, the larvae of Xanthorhoe ferrugata feed on a variety of low plants, including chickweed, ground ivy, knotweed, smartweed and others. Handfield indicates two generations per year for my general area, with adult flight seasons from early May into the second half of June, and from about the beginning of July to early September.” — From Lynn Scott’s Lepidoptera Images

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Online since 2002