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Orange Underwing Moth (Archiearis parthenias)

The orange underwing moth is a member of the geometer moth family, first described by Swedish entomologist Carl Linnaeus in 1761. They get their name because of the orange pattern on their underwing or hindwing, that appears to be one of their distinguishing features. In fact when in flight the entire moth seems orange from a distant, though their forewings have a different coloration.

Orange Underwing Moth

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Scientific Classification


  • Family: Geometridae
  • Genus: Archiearis
  • Scientific Name: Archiearisparthenias

Description and Identification

Caterpillar

The caterpillars are green.

Orange Underwing Moth Caterpillar

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Pupa

Once mature, the larva undergoes pupation.

Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent.

Color and Appearance

Forewings: When the wings are opened, they are blackish-brown with white markings. When the wings are closed, the color and patterns remain unchanged.

Hindwings: When the wings are opened, they are bright orange with black markings. When the wings are closed, the orangish color is only slightly visible.

Average wingspan: 30–40 mm

Flight pattern: Erratic

Season: February to May

Archiearis parthenias

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Egg

Adults lay their eggs either close to the host plants or on the soil.

Quick Facts

DistributionEurope, Russia, and Japan
HabitatAnywhere with mature birch trees, primarily heathland and woodland
Lifespan of AdultsNot recorded
Host PlantsBirch trees, mainly downy and silver birch
Adult DietDoes not feed

Did You Know

  • These moths are often confused with the light orange underwing moth due to the similarity in color and pattern, but the latter prefers aspen as a host plant instead of birch.
Orange Underwing Moth Image

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Orange Underwing Moth Picture

butterfly-conservation.org

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