26 Different Types of Moths in New Mexico

Different Types of Moths in New Mexico
Photo by Krzysztof Niewolny

Welcome to this blog post on the types of moths in New Mexico! Do you live in New Mexico and want to know more about the moths that inhabit the area? Are you curious to learn what types of species are living around you? 

Moths are fascinating creatures, varying greatly in size and color.

There are over 11,000 species of moth throughout North America, hundreds of which can be found in New Mexico.

Many moths camouflage themselves within their surroundings, making them difficult to spot unless you know what you’re looking for. 

This article will explore the various types of moths in New Mexico.

We’ll discuss their habitats, physical characteristics, and diets to help viewers understand these fuzzy little critters better.

Get ready for an up-close look at some of nature’s most beautiful insects!

1. Carpet Moth

In New Mexico, carpet moths, Xanthorhoe spp., are the first on this list of the types of moths.

These moths have a unique silvery-white to buff coloring, featuring pale yellow markings with black spots on the wings.

They have approximately 25-30 mm wingspans and can lay up to 150 eggs in one batch, which takes around two weeks to hatch. 

As their name suggests, carpet moths prefer carpets and other soft furnishings for laying their eggs. They feed on animal fiber and plant debris, such as oil seeds and pollen grains.

Recently, there has been an increase in the number of carpet moths infesting homes in New Mexico due to increased clutter, making it easier for them to breed undetected. 

For example, carpet padding, old carpets that provide accessible nesting sites, or stored fabrics provide ideal breeding grounds where they may spread unnoticed before they become a noticeable problem.

Thankfully, these pests are easily managed by regular vacuuming, laundering, steam cleaning of carpets and furniture, and decluttering areas prone to moth habitats.

Additionally, proper protection, such as airtight containers or plastic bags, can help prevent further infestations as long as sensitive materials are stored properly away from food sources.

2. Cecropia Moth

Cecropia Silkmoths
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The Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia) is one of the largest and most beautiful types of moths in New Mexico.

It is primarily found in the eastern United States and southern Canada, with most sightings occurring in New Mexico.

The average size of adult Cecropia Moths spans five to seven inches across the wingspan, making them easily recognizable by their large size and striking coloration. 

The forewings are typically colored a dark reddish-brown, while the hindwings have a pale yellow pattern that stands out against their otherwise dark background.

Regarding habitat preference, Cecropia Moths prefer forested areas with plenty of water and open meadows to feed on nectar from various plants.

During mating season, adults emerge from cocoons spun during late summer months to mate at night during flight periods lasting several hours each evening. 

Females of these types of moths in New Mexico lay their eggs on suitable tree species, such as maple or birch trees, before returning to the ground to die.

Larvae and eggs remain on branches until mid-July, when caterpillars emerge from their cocoons and feed on nearby green leaves that source essential nutrients for pupation.

Once caterpillars mature, they spin a cocoon, eventually protecting against predators.

At the same time, they wait out the winter season before emerging in late spring or early summer of the following year.

3. Hydriomena Moth

Hydriomena Moth - Types of Moths in Oregon
by Wildreturn is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Hydriomena Moth(Hydriomena spp.) is a moth found in the American Southwest, specifically in Arizona, New Mexico, and California.

Hydriomena moths are small to medium-sized moths that range in color from light tan to reddish brown. Their most distinctive characteristic is their oblong wings with fringed margins. 

These types of moths in New Mexico have a sleek and slender appearance, making them hard to spot when at rest with wings pressed together on tree trunks or other surfaces.

The larvae of these moths are generalists, feeding on a wide variety of plants and trees such as nettles, wild roses, willows, sumac, and maples.

The adult Hydriomena moths feed mainly on nectar produced by flowers such as daisies, dandelions, and sunflowers during the spring and summer months when they are most active. 

These moths in New Mexico also feed on honeydew deposited by sap-feeding insects like aphids and scale insects found on coniferous trees like Spruces and Firs.

In New Mexico, the hydriomena species has two generations per year, one in early spring and one in mid-summer, allowing them to colonize new areas quickly due to their adaptability to different conditions. 

Monitoring for damage caused by these pests can often be difficult since their populations vary greatly from region to region due to environmental factors like climate and humidity.

As such, commercial growers of conifers need to close their eyes for signs of infestations from hydriomena larvae levels before they become too great, so proactive steps can be taken if necessary.

4. Indian Meal Moth

Indianmeal Moth
by Γιάννης Νικόλης is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella) is a small, nocturnal moth found in many parts of New Mexico.

These slender moths on our list of the types of moths in New Mexico have golden-red forewings and greyish-yellow hind wings with fringe scales.

They are usually seen resting in sheltered areas during the day, such as on walls or in cupboard corners.

At night, they become active and feed on grains, dried fruit, nuts, and stored birdseed.

Indian meal moths, of the types of moths in New Mexico, are considered major pests in agricultural settings and stored food products.

The female moths lay their eggs on food sources, hatching them into larvae that consume the food while they grow into adulthood.

Damage is caused by the larvae consuming large amounts of grain and other materials, leaving behind feces and webbing as they tunnel through it.

In conjunction with proper storage of food items, Indian meal moths can be kept away from homes through traps and chemicals such as Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs.)

5. Joined Underwing Moth

Joined Underwing Moth
by tombenson76 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Joined Underwing Moth (Catocala junctura), which can be found in various parts of the United States, is one of the most attractive moths in New Mexico.

This colorful species has approximately 2-3 wingspan with red and black patterned forewings and orange hindwings.

The general appearance is quite eye-catching and usually consists of bands of white or yellow along with stripes and spots. 

In addition, the Joined Underwing Moth, one of the types of moths in New Mexico, has two discernible traits to look for when identifying them.

The first is a triangle in the middle upper wing embossed with reddish-brown scales, and the second is a prominent yellow “Y” shape on each forewing near the outer edge.

New Mexico provides prime habitat conditions for this species as they prefer warm deserts near mesic forests, grasslands, gardens, and rangeland.

This habitat preference lends to their abundance throughout the state’s northern and southern regions.

As part of its diet, this species consumes nectar from various flowers, such as milkweed and sunflowers, while immature larvae feed mainly on legumes.

Because they are protected under New Mexico law, it is against the law to harm or affect these moths without permission from wildlife officials.

They are considered beneficial insects due to their scavenging abilities, which help break down organic matter into important nutrients used by soil microbes.

6. Large Tolype Moth

Large Tolype Moth
by Wildreturn is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Tolype velleda, commonly known as the Large Tolype Moth, is a moth native to New Mexico.

These large moths can be found in many different habitats across the state, with their main food source being deciduous trees and shrubs.

The Large Tolype Moth, on this list of the types of moths in New Mexico, has a wingspan of up to four inches and features intricate patterns on its wings with shades of yellow, brown, and black. 

They look relatively similar to other types of moths in New Mexico.

Still, they have distinct ridges running down the center of their bodies and notably larger eyes than most other species.

The Large Tolype Moths have an important role to play in ecosystems in New Mexico due to their role as pollinators for flowering plants.

Their long, thin proboscis allows them to reach nectar deep within flowers that would otherwise be inaccessible, which makes them particularly effective at distributing the pollen from one flower to another. 

Plant life in New Mexico benefits greatly; without these moths helping spread new pollen sources, the state’s native vegetation couldn’t propagate itself so easily.

These moths also serve as an ideal food source for many living in New Mexico’s forests, such as birds, reptiles, lizards, and small mammals.

7. Lunate Zale Moth

Lunate Zale Moth
by Wildreturn is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Lunate Zale Moth (Zale lunata) is also one of the interesting types of moths in New Mexico.

This species belongs to the Noctuidae family and is primarily brownish-gray with patterns of white lines across its wings pocked by small black dots.

Since it frequents open woodlands and deserts, this species can readily be found across various environments. 

Unlike most types of moths in New Mexico, the Lunate Zale Moth is diurnal, which means it is active during the day, making it easy to spot with its striking appearance.

The Lunate Zale Moth is an agricultural pest because its caterpillars feed on various grains and vegetables, including corn, potatoes, and soybeans.

As such, they can cause significant damage to crops if left unchecked. 

Luckily, their population can be managed through natural predators such as spiders or wasps and biological control measures like pheromone trapping or insecticides when necessary.

Adult moths are also a favorite delicacy of birds like Eastern Bluebirds and American Kestrels.

They use their sense of sight to locate them easily while out foraging during the day.

8. Moonseed Moth

Moonseed Moth
by Wildreturn is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Plusiodonta compressipalpis, commonly known as the Moonseed Moth, is a moth species belonging to the family Plusiinae and found in New Mexico.

These moths belong to the same genus of more common, brightly colored, light-footed moths that feed on the flowers of various plants.

The Moonseed Moth, also one of the moths in New Mexico, stands out from its relatives with its silvery gray wings and striking yellow legs.

Moreover, its body is marked with deep violet designs surrounded by varying shades of blues and greens, which helps it blend into its surroundings and become nearly invisible.

This species spends their days perched on stems or flying about, preferring sunlit surfaces for warmth rather than shade.

The larvae of Moonseed Moths are voracious feeders that eat mostly grasses, but they are also known to attack vegetable crops such as alfalfa and corn when populations grow too large. 

Due to this specific liking for grasses, they have become an easy target for agricultural pest control efforts in New Mexico.

Despite this minor drawback, these moths play an important role in their environment by helping pollinate nearby plants and serving food for birds and other small predators.

All in all, the Moonseed Moth, one of the types of moths in New Mexico, is a beautiful creature that has adapted well to life among desert plants in New Mexico.

9. Nevada Tiger Moth

Nevada Tiger Moth
by magnificentfrigatebird is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Nevada Tiger Moth (Apantesis nevadensis) is a type of moth found in New Mexico.

It belongs to the family Noctuidae and resembles an orange tiger with its bright contrasting colors.

This moth species typically has a wingspan of 1¼ to 2¼ inches, with reddish-orange to yellowish-orange wings outlined in black and white markings on the outer margins. 

These types of moths in New Mexico also have long palps and feathered antennae that aid in their smell detection during their evening flights.

These moths are strong fliers, capable of alternately sailing and flapping their wings for extended periods as they search for food sources.

Females have been observed laying eggs on cacti and other plants, while larvae feed primarily on the bark and leaves of trees such as oaks, willows, maples, ponderosa pines, and junipers. 

During the day, they shelter near tree trunks or in sheltered areas on the ground, where they remain camouflaged by their orange-patterned coloring until nightfall, when they become more active.

Nocturnal animals emerge around dusk each evening to search for nectar from flowers native to New Mexico, such as petunias, dandelions, daisies, and many others.

10. Zig-Zag Furcula Moth

The Zig-Zag Furcula Moth (Furcula scolopendrina) is a species of moth found in New Mexico and other parts of the United States.

It is a medium-sized moth with mottled dark brown and greyish wings with zigzagged bands at the edges.

The body is predominantly white, while the forewings are charcoal grey with black accents along the veins and near the tips. 

These particular types of moths in New Mexico are most active at night and are attracted to light sources.

They usually fly from April to late September and feed on various plants, including willows, poplars, maples, and other deciduous trees.

Due to their wide range and high tolerance for various habitats, they are quite common throughout New Mexico.

11. Western Tent Moth

Western Tent Moth Caterpillar - Types Of Caterpillars In Utah
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The Western Tent Moth (Malacosoma californicum) is one of the most widespread types of moths in New Mexico.

This species belongs to the family Lasiocampidae and is native to North America, where it can be seen anywhere along the western states between California and Saskatchewan.

The adults reach around 3 cm long, with a wingspan of up to 6 cm. 

Moving on, their forewings are light brown with a white stripe near them, while their hindwings are mostly yellowish-brown or grey.

The larvae of the Western Tent Moth prefer feeding on oak trees but will also feed on other deciduous trees like birch, cherry, elm, and pine.

They create silken tents that protect them from predators and elevate their temperature during cold days. 

During the winter, when the trees become dormant, this tent will remain attached to the branches for protection until leaf growth resumes in springtime and provides food for them again.

Females lay eggs on various parts of plants, such as flowers and leaves; these hatch after 8-10 days into caterpillars that build tents using silk threads from within their body’s glands. 

The mature larva feeds heavily before hibernation in late summer or fall but doesn’t fully pupate like most moths in New Mexico.

Instead, they partially cocoon themselves inside mud cells built at the bottom of tree trunks until they emerge as adults later.

12. Bent-Line Carpet Moth

Bent-Line Carpet Moth
by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Bent-line Carpet Moth (Costaconvexa centrostrigaria) is a type of moth found in places with extremely dry climates, such as New Mexico.

A member of the Crambidae family, these small moths are easily distinguishable thanks to their unique curved, bent-shaped line along the forewing.

This line runs across most of the moths’ wingspan, setting them apart from others in their region. 

The species of different types of moths in New Mexico also have various shades of brown, gray, and black on their wings, which make them stand out.

When they emerge in early spring and late summer, Bent-line Carpet Moths can be spotted near sagebrush and other desert plants, where they can easily feed on nectar and pollen.

They have strong flight capabilities, meaning they typically only stay near one area or habitat before quickly flying away in search of food. 

Aside from plants, Bent-line Carpet Moths, which are moths in New Mexico, feed on various fabrics such as wool and silk.

However, this does not cause serious damage to these materials as the insects primarily look for nutrition rather than dwelling inside them for shelter.

13. Vine Sphinx Moth

Vine Sphinx Moth
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The Vine Sphinx Moth (Eumorpha Vitis) is one of the incredible types of moth in New Mexico.

These moths have a unique look that makes them stand out from other moths. A large, dark body characterizes them with white and gray stripes running along the wings.

The wings also feature striking orange and yellow lines, giving them a distinct look. 

These types of moths in New Mexico love to eat vining plants such as grapes, cucumbers, and pumpkins, which they feed on during their larval stage.

The lifecycle of the Vine Sphinx Moth begins in late spring when the adult moths emerge from their cocoons and search for nectar-rich flowers.

They use these flowers as energy sources while they lay eggs that will develop into larvae called caterpillars over several weeks. 

As caterpillars, these larvae feed on vines such as those previously mentioned and can cause significant damage to crops if left unchecked.

It is important for farmers in New Mexico to monitor for these pests and take appropriate measures to maintain crop health when populations become high.

After feeding for several weeks, the caterpillars form protective cocoons, holding them until late spring when they emerge again, ready to start the life cycle anew.

14. American Dagger Moth

American Dagger Moth
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The American Dagger Moth (Acronicta americana) is a species of moth found throughout the United States, including in New Mexico.

These moths are a more common species in this region and can be identified by their dark brown color with white markings on the wings.

They use long, narrow wings to make fast, gliding movements while they feed on nectar from flowers or other plants. 

The caterpillar stage of the American Dagger Moth features a broad yellow-green band along its back and can reach up to two inches long when fully grown.

American Dagger Moths in New Mexico are typically nocturnal, though they may occasionally be seen during the day in search of food sources or mates.

They feed on various flowering plants, trees, and shrubs, but they prefer trees like oaks and maples that produce plenty of nectar for them to consume. 

They are types of moths in New Mexico, also known to feed on decaying vegetation and stored berries, walnuts, and other fruits.

As larvae, these moths will burrow into the tree bark, where they stay for most of their development before emerging as adults. 

The adult American Dagger Moth is fairly inactive during most of the year, but twice a year (usually around late May and late June) will come out in large numbers to reproduce after mating.

This species plays an important role in many ecosystems by providing a food source for predators such as birds while pollinating plants at night during their active periods.

15. Bagworm Moth

Bagworm Moth
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Bagworm moths (Various spp.) are species of insect found in New Mexico. They belong to the family Psychidae, which contains roughly 1400 species worldwide.

These moths get their name from protective bags created from silk and plant material resembling a small bag or cocoon.

This allows these types of moths in New Mexico to protect themselves against the weather and predators. 

Found in the deserts, woodlands, and forests of New Mexico, they can range in size from 10 mm to 50 mm in length, with adults having wingspans up to 2 inches wide.

The adult moths usually come out between late May and mid-July, making them easy to spot during those months.

Bagworms are important for the environment because they primarily feed on sagebrush, an essential food source for larger wildlife. The caterpillars rely on camouflage to stay hidden.

Still, they are often spotted when they feed on sagebrush leaves and leave behind characteristic skeletonized foliage with stripped bark from trunks.

The lifecycle of these particular types of moths in New Mexico generally consists of 4 stages: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa, and adult moth. 

However, in some years, a generation of moths will survive through winter into summer months, leading immediately into another generation without an intervening pupal stage.

So locals need to pay attention to not damage developing populations by mistakenly thinking it’s just one big group!

16. Zebra Conchylodes Moth

Zebra Conchylodes Moth
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The Zebra Conchylodes Moth (Conchylodes ovulalis) is a species of moth found in New Mexico.

These small moths have an intricate pattern of stripes and spots on their wings, giving them the zebra-like appearance that gave them their name.

The hindwings of this species are brown and white with a tip that bends to form a point. 

Meanwhile, these types of moths in New Mexico prefer open habitats such as fields, deserts, and mesquite dunes.

The adult moths feed on flower nectar between dusk and dawn, while the larvae feed on desert plants such as creosote bush and white bursage.

Since they appear late in summer, they often surprise unsuspecting travelers who were not expecting to see such beautiful creatures late at night!

17. White-Lined Sphinx Moth

White-Lined Sphinx Moth
by Franco Folini is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The White-lined Sphinx Moth (Hyles lineata) is one of the most common types of moths in New Mexico.

This dazzling nocturnal creature can be identified by the striking white stripes that adorn its wings and body.

Although these moths are active year-round, they are often seen more frequently during summer. 

This is when they feed on nectar-producing flowers and plants in various habitats such as fields, deserts, lakeshores, and gardens.

Their geographic range stretches from Canada to Central America and Hawaii, making them one of the most widely distributed moth species globally.

The White-lined Sphinx Moth is an important pollinator and essential in sustaining ecosystems worldwide.

18. Southwestern Corn Borer Moth

Searching for several types of moths in New Mexico? The Southwestern Corn Borer Moth (Diatraea grandiosella) is a species of moth found primarily in Arizona and New Mexico.

It is one of the most destructive pests of corn in the United States, with its larvae capable of tunneling through the stalks and causing significant damage to crops. 

The moth has a mottled gray-brown wingspan of around 1 inch and can be identified by its yellow abdominal bands and distinct forewings. 

The larvae of these types of moths in New Mexico are white or pinkish-white in color, with blackheads and pinacula dots on their backs.

Farmers often use chemical insecticides such as malathion or carbaryl to control Diatraea populations in large areas where corn production is essential for regional economies. 

Farmers have recently been using integrated pest management practices such as cultivation timing and crop rotation to reduce insect pressure on rots without relying on chemical insecticides.

These methods are effective at population control and more environmentally friendly than traditional chemical treatments.

19. Dogwood Thyatirin Moth

The Dogwood Thyatirin Moth (Euthyatira pudens) is a species of moth native to New Mexico, and as its name suggests, it tends to feed on the leaves of dogwood trees.

These moths in New Mexico are typically small in size, with pale yellow or tan wings and dark brown margins.

The most distinguishing feature of this moth is the distinct dark line between each eye that extends back to the body. 

Adult Dogwood Thyatirin Moths tend to lay their eggs on flower heads and other vegetation around mid-August to early October, leading to numerous larvae emerging around late spring and early summer.

The Dogwood Thyatirin Moth plays an important role for humans and other animals in the ecology of New Mexico, as it serves as both prey and predator for many local species.

As a predatory insect, it can help control populations of other damaging insects by providing them with food, such as aphids and caterpillars.

Conversely, these types of moths in New Mexico also serve as a food source for small mammals like birds and bats in their larval form.

They also provide pollination services thanks to their feeding habits – when feeding on flowers for nectar, they inadvertently spread pollen from plant to plant, helping guard against crop failure.

All these factors contribute towards making Dogwood Thyatirin Moths an essential part of New Mexican wildlife!

20. Cinnabar Moth

Cinnabar Moths - Types of Moths in Florida
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The Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae) is a striking and colorful member of the moth family in New Mexico.

The adults show an orange and black body, with wings with black, white, and red markings.

The larvae are yellow and black striped caterpillars that often feed on ragwort or Jacobaea species plants for their sustenance. 

Of the different types of moths in New Mexico, these are mostly active during the day and at night when it’s not too dark out.

They tend to frequent coastal areas but can also be found in dry forestlands. 

They biologically control populations of plants that can be aggressive, such as ragworts or tansies, and they act as pollinators while feeding on nectar from flowers.

In addition to this ecological role, they provide value to humans by being aesthetically pleasing creatures appreciated by many people who enjoy the colorful and vibrant wildlife present in the great outdoors of New Mexico.

21. European Corn Borer Moth

European Corn Borer Moth
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The European Corn Borer Moth (Ostrinia nubilalis) is a species of moth native to Southwest Europe and parts of Asia. Still, it can also be found in the United States, particularly New Mexico.

The adult moth has a wingspan of around one inch and is reddish-brown, featuring pale yellow to white stripes on its wings.

As their name implies, they are pests that feed on corn stalks and other food sources, including grasses, ornamental plants, and legumes. 

They have also damaged furniture or clothing items made of wool or fur.

The larvae of the European Corn Borer Moth primarily live inside tunnels formed by eating away at the inner pith part of sweetcorn ears and other perennial grasses.

Unfortunately for crop farmers in the area, this pest infestation can cause significant losses due to its voracious appetite for crops such as sweetcorn and sugary beets. 

In addition to causing direct damage to crops by eating away at their foliage and roots, they can also indirectly impact production by providing a suitable environment for fungi, which can further infect crops they come into contact with.

To combat this problem in New Mexico, many farmers use insecticides containing various types of pyrethrin compounds designed specifically to target this species.

If you are researching to know the various types of moths in New Mexico, this is a very good option!

22. Forest Tent Caterpillar Moth

Forest Tent Caterpillar Moth - Types of Moths in Oregon
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The Forest Tent Caterpillar Moth (Malacosoma disstria) is a species of moth native to North America, especially New Mexico and Arizona.

This unique species has a typical wingspan of up to four inches but can vary depending on gender and region.

Its wings are usually grey or brown, with yellow-orange splotches over its back.

The larvae are black with silver patches and have rows of branched hairs along their bodies. 

Adult moths of these particular types of moths in New Mexico consume nectar from flowers for nutrition, while larvae feed on various leaves.

One interesting characteristic of this species is that they can create impressive webs among tree branches to protect themselves against predators.

As the Forest Tent Caterpillar Moth pupates, it creates silk cocoons across trees, fusing different twigs. 

In some cases, the webs created by this species of the types of moths in New Mexico can stretch nearly an acre in length when fully grown!

In addition to weaving webs, these moths rely on melanism to deter predators from noticing them in their environment.

Such forms of camouflage provide necessary protection for this species as it goes through its life cycle.

Human activity may harm its numbers due to habitat destruction for urban development and logging efforts, greatly disrupting its environment.

23. Gracile Palpita Moth

Gracile Palpita Moth - Types of Moths in Arizona
by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Gracile Palpita Moth (Palpita atrisquamalis) is also on our list of the various types of moths in New Mexico.

This moth species is known for its dull, earthy coloration, ranging from light brown to dark grey on the wings.

It resembles many other family members of Owlet Moths and can be identified by its long, dangling labial palps, which give it an almost praying mantis-like appearance.

Gracile Palpita Moths are generally seen flying near nectar sources during the day, such as flowers and sap from trees, usually around mid-summer or early fall months in New Mexico.

These moths feed on pollen grains and sap exuded by their preferred host plants, with the adults being seen at night in vibrant lights such as porch lamps across urban areas in New Mexico.

The larvae of this particular species have been discovered to inhabit lowland forest litter under the Canopy level, otherwise known as “humus.”

The adults only live for a few short weeks, making them our best chance to observe them more closely in flight!

24. Horned Spanworm Moth

Horned Spanworm Moth
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The Horned Spanworm Moth (Nematocampa resistaria) is a moth found in the western and midwestern regions of the United States, including New Mexico.

These moths are characterized by their yellowish-brown coloration with dark stripes across their wings and two distinctive horns near the top of the head.

The antennae of these types of moths in New Mexico are also light-colored and feathery in texture. 

Adults reach an average wingspan of around 2 inches, with females generally larger than males.

The Horned Spanworm Moth has been recorded to feed on various trees, especially oak, elm, poplar, and other deciduous species.

They prefer moist habitats such as woodland areas or along riversides where they can often be seen nectaring on flowers during warm days in the summer months from June through August. 

They may lay eggs singly or in clusters underneath leaves.

When hatched, larvae will feed nocturnally until late October before overwintering for up to seven months in some cases and pupating shortly after emerging in May.

While not likely to cause significant damage to host specimens, populations should still be monitored regularly to ensure pest levels remain low.

We aren’t done with this list of the types of moths in New Mexico.

25. Cattail Caterpillar Moth

Cattail Caterpillar Moth - Types of Moths in Oregon
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The Cattail Caterpillar Moth, Acronicta insularis, is a species of moth native to New Mexico.

Its light brownish-gray wings can identify this species with faint dark zigzag stripes running across them and intricately marked with lighter-colored spots on the underside.

Its thorax is covered in thick dark hairs, making an interesting contrast against its pale abdomen. 

The caterpillars of this species resemble cattails, as their segmented body gives off a tall, stalk-like appearance like that of a cattail.

The larvae of these moths in New Mexico can be found feeding on shrubs such as tamarisk and commonly feed on willow leaves.

This type of moth is most active during the late summer and early fall months between September and October when it lays its eggs near food sources so that it can remain safe during the wintertime while they develop into its adult form in the warm months again. 

During this process, the caterpillars excrete a web of silk to hold the leaves together where they live, providing them sustenance until adulthood.

As adults, Cattail Caterpillar Moths often gather in large groups around lights overnight or hover near flowers that contain nectar to feed on during the day.

Although only driving short distances away each night, it’s believed that this behavior helps these types of moths in New Mexico distinguish between areas with adequate resources and those unsuitable for survival.

26. Celery Leaftier Moth

Celery Leaftier Moth - Types of Moths in Maryland
by Wildreturn is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Lastly, on this list of the types of moths in New Mexico is the Celery Leaftier Moth (Udea rubigalis), an important moth species in New Mexico.

It is primarily a pest of celery and other Apiaceae family plants, such as parsley, dill, and fennel, but it can also be found on many other host crops.

Adult moths are generally 8-12 mm in size and have dark forewings with light-colored bands. 

The larvae feed on leaves, causing foraging damage, reducing yields, and making the crop less attractive to consumers.

Preventative measures, such as using pheromone traps or spraying pesticides, can help reduce damage from this species.

At the same time, natural enemies, including larger wasps, may also provide some control over populations. 

Since the Celery Leaftier Moth feeds on various host crops across many areas heavily populated by humans, proper preventative methods must be used to minimize its impact.

We’ll draw the curtains on our list of the various types of moths in New Mexico here!


In conclusion, there is an incredible variety of types of moths in New Mexico that can be found in its diverse habitats and ecosystems.

Over 400 species recorded throughout the state create plenty of opportunities to explore further and study these fascinating insects. 

Moths are important pollinators and can help support the health of food crops, native plant species, and urban gardens.

These small but powerful creatures play an essential role in both natural ecosystems and our everyday lives, which is why it is so important to learn more about them.

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