Moths are an integral part of Alabama’s rich and diverse ecosystem, and many different types of moths can be found throughout the state.
From large and brightly colored species to small and drab-colored varieties, a wide variety of moth species can be seen in Alabama.
In this blog post, we will discuss the various types of moths in Alabama, from common species to rare and endangered varieties.
We will provide some tips for identifying them and exploring their habitats.
Alabama is home to a wide variety of moths, each with its unique characteristics and features.
From tiny pygmy moths to the state’s largest species, the sphinx moth, the variety of moths in Alabama is truly remarkable.
Here, we’ll also look at some of the most common types of moths in Alabama and some rare species.
By the end, you’ll better understand the diversity of moths in the state and may even be inspired to start looking for them yourself!
Read on to learn more about Alabama‘s many different types of moths!
1. Ailanthus Webworm Moth
This is one of the most common types of moths in Alabama. The Ailanthus Webworm Moth (Atteva aurea) is a member of the family Yponomeutidae and can be found in many parts of Alabama.
It is a species of moth that produces a web-like substance to protect itself from predators.
This moth species is also known as the puss moth due to the look of its caterpillar, which resembles a cat’s face.
The adult moths have a wingspan of about 0.75 to 1.5 inches and are typically yellow or tan. They also possess two pairs of cream-colored stripes across the wings.
The Ailanthus Webworm Moth’s larvae feed on various trees and shrubs, such as birch, elm, oak, willow, poplar, and more.
The larvae of these moths in Alabama are yellow-green, with blackheads and dark spots along their backs.
They create webbing between leaves to protect themselves from predators and also provide them with protection from the elements.
They can cause severe defoliation of trees if left unchecked, but they are not considered major pests.
2. Achemon Sphinx Moth
The Achemon Sphinx Moth (Eumorpha achemon) is one of the most commonly seen types of moths in Alabama.
It has a large, distinctively shaped wingspan, three to five inches long. Its colors vary from dark brown or black to a lighter, more reddish brown.
The upper side of its wings is usually marked with a light gray band across the inner margin, and it may also have an orange stripe along the outer margin.
This moth can fly during the day or lie on trees or shrubs in wooded areas. This moth is classified as a nocturnal insect, so it is generally found at night.
However, it is likely to be seen more often during daylight hours during warmer weather and cloudy days.
Achemon Sphinx Moths are active fliers, and they typically fly with rapid wing beats before settling on a nearby tree or bush to rest.
These moths feed on plant nectar and aphid honeydew, and the caterpillars feed on plants such as oaks, willows, maples, and lilacs. As such, they can often be seen in gardens and parks throughout Alabama.
3. American Ermine Moth
The American Ermine Moth (Yponomeuta multipunctella) is a moth found in the United States, specifically in Alabama.
These small moths have a distinctive appearance with wings that are pale yellow to yellowish-white in color with two black spots.
The larvae of this species are typically black or brown and feed on various deciduous trees and shrubs.
On our list of moths in Alabama, this species is most commonly found in wooded areas, such as forests or parks, and is most active during summer.
They can be identified by their light coloring, size, and two dark spots near the tip of each wing.
The American Ermine Moth is important to Alabama’s local ecosystem and contributes to its forests’ health and diversity.
4. American Lappet Moth
The American Lappet Moth (Phyllodesma americana) is a large, brown moth with a wingspan of around 4 inches. It is found throughout the southeastern United States, including Alabama.
This species is not considered an agricultural pest but is known to feed on the leaves of various trees and shrubs. It is also one of the different types of moths in Alabama.
The larvae are brightly colored, yellow-green, and have tufts of long hairs on the sides of their bodies.
The adult moths emerge in late summer and lay eggs on the undersides of leaves, which then hatch into larvae.
The larvae feed for several weeks before spinning a cocoon and pupating in the soil.
This moth species is important to Alabama’s diverse wildlife population and should be protected from destruction.
5. Angus’ Datana Moth
Angus’ Datana Moth (Datana angusii) is a moth species found in the southeastern parts of the United States.
This small and slender moth has a wingspan of about 1.5 inches and is grayish-brown with white spots on the wings.
Its thick black antennae and two pairs of diagonal lines on its forewings can identify it.
Moreso, it is one of the types of moths in Alabama, a nocturnal species, and is attracted to light.
This species prefers habitats such as open fields, woodlands, and gardens.
In Alabama, Angus’ Datana Moth can be found throughout most of the state, particularly in areas along the coast and the southern region.
They feed on trees such as oaks, maples, and hickories. This species is a beneficial insect in your garden or yard, as they help control caterpillar populations.
While they are not considered a threat to humans or their crops, they can still be a nuisance when they swarm around outdoor lights.
6. Arcigera Flower Moth
The Arcigera Flower Moth (Schinia arcigera) is a moth species found in Alabama. It has long wings with about an inch and a half wingspan.
The moth is grayish-brown, but it can also appear darker or lighter depending on its environment.
The wings of these types of moths in Alabama are marked with several irregularly shaped yellowish patches.
Its caterpillars feed on the flowers of various plants, including goldenrod, aster, and blackberry.
This moth species are common in Alabama and can be found from mid-spring to mid-fall.
7. Ash-Tip Borer Moth
The Ash-tip Borer Moth (Papaipema furcata) is a moth commonly found in Alabama.
It has a forewing length of 18 to 22 mm and a wingspan of approximately 44 mm.
Its wings are generally black and white but may also have orange and yellow hues.
This moth can be seen throughout the state in late summer and early fall. Its larvae feed on deciduous trees, including ash, cottonwood, maple, and oak.
Adult moths are attracted to lights at night and can be found near windows or streetlights.
Some gardeners consider them pests, as their larvae can cause extensive damage to trees.
Identifying this moth species is relatively easy due to its distinct color pattern and size. While it may appear intimidating at first glance, it is not harmful to humans.
It can be quite beneficial to the ecosystem, helping to reduce the population of certain tree pests.
If you spot one of these moths in Alabama in your area, take the time to appreciate its beauty and marvel at the amazing biodiversity in the natural world.
8. Bagworm Moth
Bagworms (Various spp.) are a family of small moth species found in various habitats throughout Alabama.
They are easily identified by their distinct silken cases, made of silk and bits of leaves, twigs, and other plant materials.
Some species of these particular moths, Bagworm moths, have wings, while others do not.
Most species feed on deciduous trees and shrubs, and their caterpillars often become agricultural pests.
Bagworm moths are a unique and fascinating part of Alabama’s ecosystem, and it’s important to recognize and appreciate them for their vital role in the state’s natural environment.
9. Banded Tiger Moth
This is one of the most common types of moths in Alabama. The Banded Tiger Moth (Apantesis vittata) is an eye-catching species native to Alabama.
It has a wingspan of approximately 1.5 inches, and its wings are adorned with striking black, white, and yellow stripes.
This species, on our list of moths in Alabama, can be found in gardens, meadows, and fields during the late spring and summer months.
This moth’s larvae feed on the foliage of trees such as oaks, elms, maples, and willows.
In addition, the larvae of the Banded Tiger Moth can cause damage to deciduous trees as they feed on the foliage.
The adults of this species feed on nectar and pollen, making them important pollinators.
10. Barberry Geometer Moth
The Barberry Geometer Moth, or Coryphista meadii, is a species of moths found in Alabama and other parts of the United States.
It is a medium-sized moth with a wingspan of around 1.6 to 2 inches. Its light orange wings have darker veins and fringes, giving it a striped pattern.
The caterpillars of this moth are pale yellow and feed on barberry, blueberry, and holly leaves. These moths are attracted to lights at night, so you may spot them near porches or street lights in the summer months.
The Barberry Geometer Moth is an important pollinator and is also beneficial to gardeners as its caterpillars feed on weeds and invasive plants that could otherwise become a nuisance.
They are not considered a major pest but can sometimes become too numerous for some gardeners.
If you spot these moths in Alabama, you can control their numbers by removing any unnecessary lights from the area to reduce their attraction.
11. Bent-Line Carpet Moth
The Bent-line Carpet Moth (Costaconvexa centrostrigaria) is an insect that belongs to the family Geometridae and is found throughout North America.
It is a small to medium-sized moth that typically has brown, gray, or yellow-mottled wings. The adults have a 2-3 cm wingspan and are active during the day.
The larvae are yellow-brown and feed on various plants, such as oaks, elms, willows, and maples.
In Alabama, they can be found in most areas throughout the state. They are also types of moths in Alabama considered a pest due to their ability to defoliate trees.
12. Black-Waved Flannel Moth
This is one of the most common types of moths in Alabama.
The Black-waved Flannel Moth (Megalopyge crispata) is a moth species found in Alabama and throughout the United States.
This moth species is notable for its distinct black and white markings, making it easily identifiable.
The Black-waved Flannel Moth, one of the various moths in Alabama, also has yellowish or whitish hair-like structures on its wings.
These moths are nocturnal and typically feed on nectar from flowers at night.
This moth species has several subspecies, all of which can be found in Alabama. The most common subspecies found in the state is the Megalopyge crispata quaestor.
This particular subspecies is primarily found in the state’s wooded areas and is considered relatively uncommon.
Despite this, they can still be seen occasionally in Alabama’s summer months.
13. Bluish Spring Moth
The Bluish Spring Moth (Lomographa semiclarata) is a moth species found in Alabama and other southeastern United States.
It is a member of the Geometridae family, which includes some of the most well-known moths, such as the monarch butterfly.
This species has pale blue wings with two large white spots and a narrow yellow line along the trailing edge.
They typically fly in May and June and are usually found on forest edges and near streams.
The caterpillars feed on various deciduous trees, including oak, beech, birch, walnut, and maple. They also feed on grasses and clovers.
The Bluish Spring Moth is an important part of Alabama’s native moth fauna and plays an important role in maintaining the health of forest ecosystems.
These moths are common in Alabama but have declined in other parts of the country due to habitat destruction and climate change.
It is important to protect these moths and their habitats so that they can continue to contribute to the region’s biodiversity and ecosystem services.
14. Boxwood Leaftier Moth
The Boxwood Leaftier Moth (Galasa nigrinodis) is a member of the family of noctuid moths.
It is native to Alabama and is a common resident in the northern portion of the state. Its wingspan ranges from 1.5-2 inches long, and its body has an orange-brown hue.
Its caterpillars can be found feeding on leaves from boxwood plants and other species of plants.
This moth also has an alternate name of the Maple-leafcutter Moth, as it is also known for feeding on the leaves of maples.
This moth species is active day and night, with peak activity around dusk.
They are types of moths in Alabama considered beneficial due to their plant-feeding habits.
15. Cecropia Silk Moth
The Cecropia Silk Moth (Hyalophora cecropia) is an impressive species of moth and one of the largest in North America.
This beautiful creature is one of the most common moths in Alabama.
The adult moth can reach up to 6 inches in wingspan and have distinctively patterned wings with red, yellow, and brown colors.
Their caterpillars also have distinctively black, yellow, and white stripes. These moths are most active at night and can be seen fluttering around lights for food.
They are also drawn to moist, humid environments where their larvae can easily find food.
The Cecropia Silk Moth has a remarkable lifespan, with adult moths surviving up to six weeks before they die.
While they live, these particular types of moths in Alabama lay eggs on tree leaves and bark.
After hatching, the caterpillars feed on the foliage until they become pupae, then emerge as adult moths to repeat the cycle.
While these moths are not considered endangered, it is important to help protect them by avoiding pesticide use and creating habitats that will attract them.
16. Close-Banded Yellowhorn Moth
This is one of the most common types of moths in Alabama. This type of moth (Colocasia propinquilinea) is found in the southeastern United States, including Alabama.
It is a medium-sized moth with mottled yellow and brown wings, with an average wingspan of 2.3 inches.
The larvae feed on plants in the family Lamiaceae, such as mint, oregano, thyme, and sage.
This type on our list of the various types of moths in Alabama is nocturnal and is attracted to light.
When disturbed, it may excrete a fluid from its smelly and irritating prolegs to the skin.
17. Common Spring Moth
The Common Spring Moth (Heliomata cycladata) is a beautiful moth species found in Alabama, particularly in the springtime.
These moths have orange-brown wings with silver markings and white undersides. They have a wingspan of about 3/4 inch, making them one of the smaller types of moths in Alabama.
Their larvae feed on grasses, small herbs, and weeds, making them an important part of the agricultural environment.
The adult Common Spring Moth can be found in meadows, gardens, and fields in the spring months when they come out to feed on nectar from flowers.
Meanwhile, they are attracted to light at night, so you may see them fluttering around your porch or garden lights during their active season.
These moths are harmless and beneficial to the environment, so you can enjoy watching them without fear.
18. Definite Tussock Moth
The Definite Tussock Moth (Orgyia definita) is one of the most common types of moths in Alabama.
It is a medium-sized moth with a wingspan of approximately one inch.
The color of the wings can vary from light brown to orange, but the overall shape and pattern remain consistent.
This species is most active at night when searching for food sources.
The Definite Tussock Moth’s caterpillars feed on various plants and trees, including oak, maple, and birch.
They also feed on grasses, weeds, and flowers. As they mature, they form cocoons near the food sources that provide sustenance.
After several weeks, the adult moths emerge to continue the life cycle.
19. Himmelman’s Plume Moth
This small, colorful moth (Geina tenuidactyla) is a member of the Geometridae family.
Its wingspan can range between 21 to 24 millimeters, and its overall body size is relatively small, with adults having an average length of 8 to 10 millimeters.
This species, on our list of the types of moths in Alabama, can be found in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina.
Himmelman’s Plume Moth typically has yellow or orange wings with narrow stripes and several small black dots, although there are variations in color and pattern.
This moth is mainly active during the day, with females laying eggs on the underside of leaves.
The larvae feed on various deciduous trees and shrubs, such as oaks and maples, making them important pests for certain species of trees.
20. Dart Moth
The Dart Moth (Agnorisma bolii) is a moth commonly found in Alabama.
This moth species is a nocturnal insect characterized by its mottled gray, brown, and black wings with white spots and dark fringes.
The wingspan of this species can range between 3/8 to 5/8 of an inch.
The Dart Moth, also one of the different types of moths in Alabama, is typically found in open grasslands, meadows, and pastures.
This moth species is also a major pest of various crops, as they feed on plant foliage.
It is important to note that the Dart Moth only occurs in southern states and is considered a serious pest in some areas.
21. Cross-Striped Cabbageworm Moth
The Cross-striped Cabbageworm Moth, Evergestis rimosalis, is a moth native to Alabama.
These moths are usually found in southern parts of the state and are identifiable by their striking stripes of orange and black.
The moths typically have a wingspan between 1 – 1.5 inches, and they feed on the leaves and flowers of various cruciferous plants, such as cabbage and kale.
These moths in Alabama are considered important pollinators in their natural habitat, and they help keep the local ecosystem in balance.
They can fly around lights at night and often be seen resting on tree trunks during the day.
Cross-striped Cabbageworm Moths are considered a beneficial species in Alabama and are an important part of the state’s biodiversity.
They are often overlooked for their small size, but they are important in maintaining the environment’s health.
They help to keep pests under control, pollinate flowers, and provide food for other insect predators.
Protecting these species and their habitats is important to keep them thriving in Alabama.
22. Doubleday’s Baileya Moth
The Doubleday’s Baileya Moth (Baileya doubledayi), also known as the Orange Dog Moth, is a moth native to Alabama.
This moth has an orange body with grayish-white markings and a wingspan of up to 3 cm (1.2 inches).
Its larvae feed on many plants, including ragweed, sassafras, and gumweed. They are most active during the warmer months of April through October.
This species is one of the most commonly encountered moths in Alabama and can be seen in urban and suburban areas.
It is important to note that these moths do not cause any damage to property or crops, so they can be safely ignored when seen.
While they are not considered a pest species, it is important to remember that they can be carriers of disease-causing parasites or viruses, so it is best to avoid handling them whenever possible.
23. Eastern Tent Caterpillar Moth
The Eastern Tent Caterpillar Moth (Malacosoma americanum) is a moth commonly found in Alabama.
It is a silky, white-bodied moth with a yellowish-brown head and a wingspan of approximately 1.5 inches.
The caterpillar of the Eastern Tent Caterpillar Moth feeds on the leaves of trees, such as apple and cherry trees, which makes it a common pest to these types of trees.
The caterpillars create nests in the branches of their host trees, making them easy to spot.
These types of moths in Alabama are most active in the spring and summer months.
24. Eight-Spotted Forester Moth
This is one of the most common types of moths in Alabama. The Eight-spotted Forester Moth (Alypia octomaculata) is a type of moth that can be found in Alabama.
It is a member of the Noctuidae family, which can be recognized by its white and gray coloring and distinctive black and yellow pattern of spots.
The Eight-spotted Forester Moth typically has a wingspan of 1.5 to 2.25 inches. They are often found in wooded areas, feeding on leaves, buds, and twigs.
The Eight-spotted Forester Moth is an important part of Alabama’s ecosystem. They are important pollinators, helping to pollinate many different plants and flowers.
These moths in Alabama also act as a food source for other animals, such as birds and small mammals.
This species is relatively common in Alabama, but it is important to maintain their habitat so they can continue to thrive.
25. European Corn Borer Moth
The European Corn Borer Moth (Ostrinia nubilalis) is a common sight in Alabama and one of the most destructive pests in the state.
It is equally one of the several moths in Alabama and feeds on corn and other grasses, legumes, and grains.
The moth has a wingspan of up to 20mm, and its color can vary from yellowish-brown to dark gray.
The caterpillar stage of this species is especially damaging to crops, as they feed inside the stalks and leaves of corn plants, causing significant damage.
To control this pest, several methods are available, such as using insecticides, crop rotation, and trap cropping.
Biological control measures are also used, such as introducing the natural enemies of the European Corn Borer Moth, including Trichogramma wasps and egg parasitoids.
Farmers should also reduce crop losses by removing debris from the field where the moths are found. In addition, farmers should use pesticides responsibly to ensure the safety of their crops.
26. Faint-Spotted Angle Moth
The Faint-spotted Angle Moth (Digrammia ocellinata) is a species of moth found throughout the eastern United States and Canada, including Alabama.
The adult moths have gray forewings, several small pale spots, and a yellowish-orange hindwing.
They usually fly from late May to early August and prefer areas with open, grassy fields and meadows.
The caterpillars of this species feed on various grasses and sedges and are easily identified by the white stripes running along their green or yellow bodies.
They overwinter as pupae in soil or litter near their host plants. This species is considered relatively common in Alabama and can be found in many areas.
Gardening enthusiasts should be aware that while the Faint-spotted Angle Moth is generally harmless, its caterpillars have been known to feed on some garden plants, including corn and alfalfa.
Homeowners should use natural predators such as ladybugs, lacewings, and predatory wasps to help keep populations in check.
Despite this, the Faint-spotted Angle Moth is an important part of the local ecosystem, providing food for birds and other animals.
With its attractive coloring and interesting life cycle, it’s definitely worth taking a moment to observe this species.
We aren’t done with this list of the types of moths in Alabama! Continue reading!
27. Fall Armyworm Moth
The Fall Armyworm Moth (Spodoptera frugiperda) is a common type of moth that can be found in Alabama.
This moth species is usually found in fields of corn and other grain crops. The adults have dark gray wings with pale yellowish brown bands across them and a wingspan of about 2 inches.
The caterpillar is greenish-brown with black stripes on its body. It has a forked tail and yellow spots on its head.
Fall Armyworm Moths can be seen in the early summer months in Alabama, and they are considered pests by many farmers due to the damage they cause to their crops.
They can be controlled through pesticides or other methods, which is an important part of managing these pests.
28. Five-Spotted Hawk Moth
This is one of the most common types of moths in Alabama.
The five-spotted hawk moth (Manduca quinquemaculatus), also known as the tomato sphinx or tobacco hawk moth, is a large, wide-bodied moth found in many parts of North America.
Its wings have distinctive black and white markings resembling a hawk in flight.
In Alabama, these moths can be found in gardens, meadows, and fields during their mating season, which runs from April to October.
The moth’s larvae are green and black, resembling small caterpillars with a horn-like protrusion at their rear.
The adults feed on nectar and pollen from various flowers and plants, including tomatoes and vegetables.
The five-spotted hawk moth is one of the moths in Alabama that can also be seen at night flying around lights and feeding on light sources.
29. Four-Spotted Gluphisia Moth
The Four-spotted Gluphisia Moth (Gluphisia avimacula) is one of the interesting types of moths in Alabama.
It is a medium-sized moth with a 1-1/2 to 2 inches wingspan. The adults are brownish, with four dark spots on each wing.
In the immature stage of this species, the larvae have a distinct black, yellow, and white pattern on the body.
Further, they feed mainly on ferns and other low-growing plants. The adults of this species can be found in wooded areas, especially around rivers, during late summer and early fall.
They are not considered major pests but can cause minor damage to plants.
30. George’s Midget Moth
George’s Midget Moth (Elaphria georgei) is a small moth found in Alabama and other parts of the United States. It is one of the most common types of moths in Alabama.
This species is a member of the Noctuidae family and is typically found in wet or swampy areas.
They have a wingspan of around 15 mm and can be identified by their white forewings with dark spots. The moths have dark brown or black heads and bodies.
The larvae of George’s Midget Moth can be destructive to garden plants as they feed on the leaves, flowers, and fruits.
It is important to note that this species does not transmit diseases and is generally not considered a pest.
The best way to control these moths is through proper sanitation and sanitation measures, such as removing any damaged or wilted plant material from the garden.
31. Grape Plume Moth
This is one of the most common types of moths in Alabama. The Grape Plume Moth, also known as Geina periscelidactylus, is a moth native to Alabama.
This species can be identified by its distinctive mottled grey and brown forewings marked with spots and white hindwings.
The caterpillars of this species can be found feeding on grape vines, hence the name.
It is an interesting sight in the summer when they can often be seen resting on grapevines and among the foliage. They also inhabit fields and gardens, where they feed on various plants.
Adult moths have a wingspan of about one and a quarter inches, and their bodies are usually light grayish-brown.
The Grape Plume Moth is one of many types of moths in Alabama. While it may not be as noticeable as some other species, it is still an important part of the local ecosystem.
This species helps to pollinate flowers and provide food for other insects and animals.
For example, the larvae are known to feed on grape leaves, which can benefit the local grape industry.
Therefore, if you’re ever in Alabama and spot a Grape Plume Moth, take the time to appreciate this unique creature!
32. Grass-Veneer Moth
As we approach the end of this list of the various types of moths in Alabama, the Grass-Veneer Moth, or Agriphila spp., is not missing.
These moths are usually small, yellowish-brown, or grayish, with two inches wingspan.
In addition to that, they are active at night and are attracted to lights. The larvae feed on various types of grass, while adults feed on nectar from flowers.
33. Harnessed Tiger Moth
The Harnessed Tiger Moth (Apantesis phalerata) is one of the most common types of moths in Alabama.
It is a medium-sized moth with distinctive orange and black stripes, resembling a tiger.
This species can be found from spring through fall in most state regions, where it often visits flowers and other plant life.
The Harnessed Tiger Moth is known for its ability to rapidly flutter its wings when disturbed, making them easily identifiable.
The caterpillars feed on various plants, including flowers and grasses, and several crops, such as corn, beans, and potatoes. They can be a minor agricultural pest if left unchecked.
Fortunately, the Harnessed Tiger Moth is not a major crop threat and can be safely managed with proper monitoring.
Alabama has many moths in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
Alabama’s moths are as diverse and beautiful as the state, from the giant atlas to tiny pyralid moths.
Above, we looked at some of the most commonly seen types of moths in Alabama and some of the more interesting species that call the state home.
Read the above to learn more about Alabama’s incredible types of moths!