Did you know there are different types of moths in Texas? Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or an amateur photographer, something is fascinating about these winged creatures that make them so interesting.
From their spectacularly colorful wings to their unique shapes and sizes, the types of moths in Texas will amaze you.
Let’s move on as we explore some of Texas’s most common moth species, including their unique characteristics and behaviors.
Read on to discover the fascinating types of moths in Texas!
1. Moonseed Moth
This is the first on our list of types of moths in Texas.
Moonseed Moth (Plusiodonta compressipalpis) is a relatively small species of moth with a wingspan of just 3-4 cm.
Its wings are light brown with intricate patterns of darker brown markings. One distinguishing feature of this moth is its curved, sickle-shaped antennae.
As its name suggests, the Moonseed Moth feeds on the leaves of moonseed plants, a type of woody vine found throughout the southeastern United States.
The caterpillars of this species can cause damage to the moonseed plants, but overall they do not pose a significant threat to their host plant or the ecosystem.
2. Maple Looper Moth
The Maple Looper Moth (Parallelia bistriaris) is commonly found in Texas during the spring and summer.
These types of moths in Texas are easily recognizable due to their unique patterns and colors.
The Maple Looper Moth’s wings are primarily brown and grey with intricate white lines and spots.
Also, they have distinctive scalloped edges on their wings. The larvae of the Maple Looper Moth feed on maple, oak, and other deciduous trees.
They create a cocoon and undergo metamorphosis, emerging as fully-formed moths ready to continue the species.
While these moths may seem insignificant, they play an important role in their ecosystem as pollinators and food sources for predators like birds and bats.
3. Leafroller Moth
Leafroller moths, as their name suggests, are known for their habit of rolling leaves around themselves to form protective shelters.
These types of moths in Texas belong to the Tortricidae family, one of the largest moths in the world, with over 10,000 known species.
Several different types of leafroller moths are found in Texas, including the light brown apple moth and the oblique banded leafroller.
These moths can cause significant damage to crops by eating and damaging leaves, flowers, and fruits.
However, they are also important for pollination and as a food source for birds and other animals.
Leafroller moths can be identified by their characteristic habit of rolling leaves and small size, typically measuring 1-2 cm long.
Control measures for these moths include using pheromone traps and releasing natural predators, such as parasitic wasps.
4. Labyrinth Moth
The Labyrinth Moth (Phaecasiophora niveiguttana) is a beautiful moth species found in Texas. They have distinctive white and gray wings with intricate patterns that resemble a maze.
This moth is commonly found in forests and woodland areas, as they prefer to lay their eggs on trees and shrubs.
During the day, Labyrinth Moths rest on the trunks of trees and blend in perfectly with the bark, making them difficult to spot.
However, at night, they can often be found flying around, searching for a mate or a source of nectar.
Despite their beautiful appearance, these moths can actually be quite harmful to plants, as their caterpillars feed on leaves and can cause significant damage if not controlled.
5. Giant Leopard Moth
The Giant Leopard Moth (Hypercompe scribonia) is a beautiful moth species in Texas.
It is easily recognized by its striking black and white patterned wings, with orange and blue spots on its abdomen.
This species is active during the day and can often be seen resting on walls or tree trunks.
The caterpillars of the Giant Leopard Moth are equally unique, with black and orange spines covering their bodies.
They feed on various plants, including dandelions, asters, and violets. If you spot a Giant Leopard Moth in your backyard, consider yourself lucky.
These types of moths in Texas are fascinating to observe and play an important role in pollinating plants and serving as a food source for predators.
6. Flowing-line Hypena Moth
The Flowing-line Hypena Moth (Hypena manalis) is a nocturnal moth commonly found in Texas. They are typically brown with distinct white lines that flow across their wings.
These types of moths in Texas are often found in wooded areas and are attracted to light sources at night.
While they do not harm humans, their larvae can destroy crops such as tomatoes and peppers.
If you are dealing with an infestation of Flowing-line Hypena Moths, it is best to seek professional pest control assistance.
7. Fir Tussock Moth
The Fir Tussock Moth is a strikingly beautiful species with an intricate pattern of white and black on its wings.
They can be found in pine and fir forests throughout Texas, especially during their active season in the summer months.
These moths lay their eggs on the needles of conifer trees, and the larvae feed on the needles and foliage until they pupate and transform into moths.
While Fir Tussock Moth (Orgyia detrita may be aesthetically pleasing, they can also harm their host trees.
The feeding activity of the larvae can lead to defoliation and weaken the tree’s ability to photosynthesize and grow.
Therefore, it is important to monitor populations and take necessary action to prevent any long-term damage.
8. Eyed Paectes Moth
The Eyed Paectes Moth is a unique moth species found in Texas.
This moth is known for its striking eye-like markings on its wings, which help it to camouflage itself and blend in with the environment.
The Eyed Paectes Moth has a wingspan of approximately 2-3 inches and is usually found in oak and pine forests.
These types of moths in Texas have a unique life cycle. The caterpillars of the Eyed Paectes Moth feed on the leaves of trees and shrubs.
After pupating, the adult moth emerges and lays its eggs in the fall. The eggs overwinter and hatch the following spring, starting the life cycle over again.
The Eyed Paectes Moth (Paectes oculatrix) is not considered a pest and does not cause any harm to humans or crops, making it a fascinating and harmless addition to the Texas ecosystem.
9. Divided Olethreutes Moth
The Divided Olethreutes Moth is a small yet unique species found throughout Texas.
As its name suggests, this moth has a distinctively divided pattern on its wings, with a mixture of white, brown, and black colors.
They can often be found in forests or near shrubbery, where they feed on the leaves of various plants.
While the Divided Olethreutes Moth may not be as showy as other species, it still plays an important role in the ecosystem.
Moths are an essential food source for many animals, including birds and bats. They also help pollinate flowers and plants, aiding in the reproduction process.
So next time you spot a Divided Olethreutes Moth, take a moment to appreciate its unique beauty and importance in the natural world.
10. Definite Tussock Moth
The Definite Tussock Moth (Orgyia definita) is common in Texas.
This moth is easily identifiable by its white markings on its forewings and a distinct row of orange spots along its hindwings.
The females are flightless and can be found in the cocoon from which they emerged, while the males can be seen flying around searching for a mate.
The Definite Tussock Moth caterpillar is also a striking sight. It has a distinctive pattern of black, white, and yellow hairs and can be found feeding on various trees and shrubs.
While the moth may not be harmful, the caterpillars can cause irritation if touched, as they have tiny spines that can release a venomous liquid.
11. Crambid Snout Moth
The Crambid Snout Moth, also known as the Small Magpie Moth, is a small moth found throughout Texas. It is usually a pale brown with distinctive white markings on its wings.
This moth is named for its characteristic snout-like extension on its head, which gives it a unique appearance.
Crambid Snout moths (Herpetogramma sphingealis) are moths in Texas typically found in grassy areas, fields, and along the edges of wooded areas.
They are active during the day and can often be seen flying around plants and flowers.
While these moths may seem insignificant, they play an important role in pollinating plants and serving as a food source for other animals in the ecosystem.
12. Close-banded Yellowhorn Moth
The Close-banded Yellowhorn Moth (Colocasia propinquilinea) is a medium-sized moth in the eastern half of Texas.
This species has distinctive yellow and black bands on its wings, making it easily identifiable.
It also has a unique trait among moths – its caterpillars feed on the leaves of the Yellowhorn tree, hence its name.
Like many types of moths in Texas, the Close-banded Yellowhorn Moth is nocturnal and is attracted to light sources.
This species can be spotted in wooded areas and gardens from April to October.
While they may not be as well-known as other moth species, Close-banded Yellowhorn Moths are still an important part of Texas’s diverse insect population.
13. Buck Moth
The Buck Moth (Hemileuca maia) is a beautiful species commonly found in the eastern and southern parts of Texas.
These moths have wings ranging from light brown to reddish-brown, with a distinct white stripe running across each wing.
They are also known for their fuzzy bodies, covered in brown or reddish hairs.
Unfortunately, the Buck Moth’s caterpillars can harm humans and pets, as they have stinging spines that can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions.
It’s important to be cautious when handling any Buck Moth caterpillars you may encounter and to seek medical attention if you experience any adverse reactions.
Despite this potential danger, the Buck Moth is still a fascinating and one of the most important types of moths in Texas.
14. Ash-tip Borer Moth
Ash-tip Borer Moth (Papaipema furcata) is a unique species found in various parts of Texas, particularly in oak and ash woodlands.
They are characterized by their dark brown or black wings with a narrow white or pale yellow stripe that runs across their wingspan.
These moths are active at night and feed on the nectar of flowers.
One interesting fact about these types of moths in Texas is that their larvae live underground and feed on the roots of ash trees. This can cause damage to the tree, but it also plays an important role in controlling its growth.
Without these moths, ash trees can grow uncontrollably, leading to a range of ecological problems. Overall, the Ash-tip Borer Moth is a fascinating and important species in Texas.
15. Black-edged Dichomeris Moth
The Black-edged Dichomeris Moth is a common moth found in Texas.
Its wings have a distinctive black-and-white striped pattern with black edges. They have a wingspan of about 1 cm and are often mistaken for small butterflies.
The larvae of the Black-edged Dichomeris Moth (Dichomeris heirguronis) feed on various plants, including fruit trees, shrubs, and herbs.
Despite being considered a pest by some gardeners, they play an important role in the ecosystem as pollinators.
These moths are typically active at night and can be attracted to lights, making them easier to spot.
16. Arcigera Flower Moth
The Arcigera Flower Moth (Schinia arcigera) is a beautiful moth species in Texas. Its wingspan ranges from 20-25 mm and combines white, gray, and brown shades.
The Arcigera Flower Moth feeds on flower nectar and can be found in gardens and meadows.
This moth species is known for its camouflage ability, allowing it to blend in with its surroundings and avoid predators.
The Arcigera Flower Moth’s larvae are brown and feed on the flowers of various plants, including the yarrow and the sunflower.
Despite being small, the Arcigera Flower Moth is a stunning addition to the moth population in Texas.
17. American Dagger Moth
The American Dagger Moth (Acronicta americana) is common in Texas.
This moth is named after the dagger-like markings on its forewings, which are yellow-orange and black in color. Its hindwings are white and often hidden.
These moths are known for their hairy appearance, which makes them resemble small mammals.
Their caterpillars are also hairy and can be found feeding on the leaves of trees such as oak and hickory.
Despite their fuzzy exterior, American Dagger Moths do not have stingers or harmful venom, making them harmless to humans.
18. Ailanthus Webworm Moth
The Ailanthus Webworm Moth, also known as the Orange Webworm Moth, is a unique species in Texas and other parts of North America.
This moth is easily identifiable by its bright orange color and distinctive web-like pattern on its wings.
While it may seem like a nuisance, the Ailanthus Webworm Moth serves an important purpose in the ecosystem.
It feeds on the leaves of the Tree of Heaven, a non-native invasive species, and helps control its spread. Additionally, this moth serves as a food source for birds and other wildlife.
Next time you spot an Ailanthus Webworm Moth, take a moment to appreciate its role in nature.
19. Achemon Sphinx Moth
This is the last on our list of types of moths in Texas. The Achemon Sphinx Moth (Eumorpha achemon) is a fascinating creature in Texas.
This large, beautiful moth has a wingspan of up to six inches and is often seen flying during the daytime. It has a unique pattern of green. And brown on its wings, making it easy to identify.
The Achemon Sphinx Moth is known for its long proboscis, which it uses to feed on the nectar of flowers.
It can also be seen feeding on the sap of trees. This moth is not considered a pest and is actually beneficial to the environment.
It is a pollinator, helping to transfer pollen from one plant to another. And ensuring the continued growth and reproduction of many species.
Texas is home to an incredible variety of moths, with many types of moths in Texas.
From the vibrant colors of the giant leopard moth to the delicate patterns of the clay-colored moth, each species is unique and fascinating.