This family is the largest one in the Order Lepidoptera. It contains more than 20,000 species worldwide with about 2,900 of them in North America. Because it is such a large group, it contains considerable variation. Most of the members are gray or brown with some markings on the wings. Most of them hold their wings together (like a roof) over the body when at rest. Most of them are nocturnal.
Moths and butterflies are not shown in equal proportion to actual size. Photographs © photographer listed and may not be used in any other format without the written permission of the photographer.
leadplant flower moth (Schinia lucens) Photo © Illinois Department of Natural Resources
The leadplant flower moth, also known as the false indigo flower moth, has a wingspan of about one inch. The upperside of the forewing has mottled dark and light raspberry colors with a white tinge. The upperside of the hindwing is yellow with brown blotches. The undersides of the wings are white, raspberry and yellow-brown with some black spots.
This species can be found in open areas and prairies where leadplant (Amorpha canescens) or false indigo plants (Amorpha spp.), the larval host plants, are present. One generation is produced per year. The adult is present from June through July. Adults are active during the daylight hours but may also be seen at night.
eight-spotted forester moth (Alypia octomaculata) Photo © Illinois Department of Natural Resources
The wingspan is about one and one-fourth to one and one-half inches. The upperside of the wings is black with large white or cream-yellow spots. Orange coloration is present on the front and middle legs.
Found statewide, this species is active during daylight hours from March through July. It lives in open areas and woodland edges where it feeds on nectar. The larva feeds on Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) and other plants of the grape family. One generation is produced per year. Overwintering is in the chrysalis stage.
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