Washington State is home to an amazing variety of moths, many of which can be seen fluttering around during summer.
There are numerous types of Moths in Washington State, from tiny brown-and-white micro-moths to large and colorful giant silk moths.
In our blog post, we’ll look at some of the most common types of Moths in Washington State and discuss the unique characteristics that make them stand out from other species.
So, if you’re curious about these fascinating creatures, keep reading!
Whether you’re looking to identify a mystery moth or want to learn more about the different types of Moths in Washington State, our blog post will provide an overview of the most common species in the area.
1. Wavy-lined Emerald Moth
The Wavy-lined Emerald Moth (Synchlora aerata) is first on our list of types of Moths in Washington State.
This species is native to North America and can be found throughout much of the continent.
The Wavy-lined Emerald Moth has a wingspan of up to 3 inches, and the forewings are a deep emerald green with bright yellow stripes.
The underside of the wings is grayish-white with dark brown veins and a series of wavy lines.
Adult types of Moths in Washington State emerge from their pupa in the late spring and early summer, and they can be seen flying during the day, looking for nectar sources, or basking in the sun.
Females lay their eggs on low shrubs and small trees, and the larvae feed on foliage.
2. Leafroller Moth
Leafroller moths or Lymantriidae (Various spp.) are a large moth family in the Washington State region.
These types of Moths in Washington State have elongated wings and can be found in various colors, including brown, yellow, white, and black.
Their larvae feed on the leaves of trees, shrubs, and other plants, which they roll up to protect themselves while they feed.
Leafrollers moths are known to cause severe damage to crops in areas where they are present.
This moth species is especially common in agricultural areas and can be difficult to control due to its wide range of potential hosts.
The most effective method of controlling leafroller moths is insecticides and other pest control methods.
While these methods may be effective, they should be used cautiously to avoid environmental harm.
This can also be an option for those looking for a more natural way of controlling leafrollers, such as introducing predators or parasites that feed on them.
Furthermore, regular inspections and early detection of leafrollers can help reduce their population and mitigate the damage caused by them.
3. Lunate Zale Moth
The Lunate Zale Moth (Zale lunata)is the next on our list of types of Moths in Washington State. It is a species of moth that can be found in Washington State.
It is one of the most commonly encountered types of Moths in Washington State in this region, typically seen flying at night.
This moth has an average wingspan of 2-3 cm and is primarily brown, with some black markings on its forewings.
These types of Moths in Washington State feed on various plants and trees, such as pine, cedar, spruce, and aspen, and lay their eggs in the needles of these trees.
During the spring and summer months, the adults of this species can be seen fluttering around lights and resting on window sills and other surfaces.
Although not harmful to humans or their property, the presence of these moths can be quite irritating and damage fabrics and other items.
As such, it is important to keep an eye out for them and to remove them from the property as soon as possible.
4. Yellow-collared Scape Moth
The Yellow-collared Scape Moth (Cisseps fulvicollis) is an attractive member of the Noctuidae family, often seen in parts of Washington State.
They are striking in appearance, with yellow-collar markings that frame their black and white wings and a white-bordered dark brown body.
The adult types of Moths in Washington State tend to be active in the evenings, often flying toward lights or gathering around them in large numbers.
The larvae feed on various plants, including trees, shrubs, and a wide range of vegetation. They may even wander into gardens, so it’s important to keep an eye out for them!
Although these Moths in Washington State are not considered a pest, they can still be a nuisance due to their large numbers when congregating around lights.
5. The Laugher Moth
The Laugher Moth (Charada deridens) Is one of the many fascinating types of Moths in Washington State. This moth has a very unique, eye-catching look.
It features a light brown body with three orange stripes running down the back and two yellow stripes on each wing. It also has small white spots and a red and black face.
These types of Moths in Washington State are generally found flying at night around streetlights and in woodland clearings and meadows.
The Laugher Moth feeds on nectar from flowers, often hovering near blooming plants like daisies and clover during the day.
The larvae of this species can also be found in gardens, where they feed on leafy plants like cabbage and cauliflower. They tend to prefer moist habitats but can survive in drier areas.
This moth species has become increasingly rare in recent years due to changes in their habitat and food sources.
If you’re lucky enough to find one of these moths, don’t disturb them as they do their business.
It’s a privilege to get the chance to see such a beautiful creature in person.
With a little luck, you may even witness its unique courtship ritual, where the male will wave its wings to attract the female.
6. Strawberry Crown Moth
The Strawberry Crown Moth(Synanthedon bibionipennis is a moth native to the Pacific Northwest of North America.
It is most easily identified by its pale yellow and brown coloring and distinctive red-brown tufted “crown” above the head.
This moth can be found in meadows and open areas with flowering plants throughout Washington state.
During the day, it remains hidden among the flowers, but at night it comes out to feed on nectar and pollen.
It is active from May to October as an adult moth and is most often seen in late summer.
The larval form of this species is also known as the Variable Oakleaf Caterpillar and feeds on various deciduous trees such as maple, oak, birch, hickory, and ash.
The caterpillars are very colorful, with a striped body of various shades of green and black and orange and yellow spots.
They can be found during spring and summer and should be handled carefully as they can sting if disturbed.
The Strawberry Crown Moth is an important pollinator for many plants in the region and is a common sight in Washington state.
Though it may appear intimidating due to its striking coloration and size, it poses no threat to humans and is harmless.
By observing this remarkable species from a distance, one can appreciate its beauty and learn more about our area’s incredible diversity of moth species.
7. Sooty-winged Chalcoela Moth
The Sooty-winged Chalcoela Moth(Chalcoela iphitalis) is a small moth found in Washington State.
It has a greyish-brown forewing with a jagged white line and a white hind wing with a reddish-brown border.
This species has a wingspan of approximately 1 inch. The larvae feed on various deciduous trees, including maple, hickory, oak, elm, and birch.
The adult types of Moths in Washington State are active at night during summer and are attracted to lights.
As a pest, the larvae can cause defoliation to various trees, but overall it is considered to be of minimal impact.
8. Small-eyed Sphinx Moth
The Small-eyed Sphinx Moth (Paonias myops) is a moth species found in Washington State. It is a large and robust moth with wings that can span up to five inches in length.
The front wings are brown and black, while the hind wings are yellow and white with dark and light lines running through them.
This species is known for its thick abdomen, legs, and short and stout antennae.
The moth is active from April to June and prefers to be found in open meadows, fields, and roadsides.
Its caterpillar is generally green or brown with yellow stripes running down its body and can grow up to three inches long.
This species is attracted to lights at night and is an important pollinator for many plants in the area.
9. Salt-and-pepper Looper Moth
The salt-and-pepper looper moth(Syngrapha rectangula) is an interesting moth species native to Washington state.
The species can be identified by its distinct black and white markings and typically grows up to 1.5 inches long.
Its wings have a marbled pale gray and light brown pattern, with darker hindwings.
This moth is found in open areas, such as meadows, forest edges, and clearings, during the late summer months.
It also has a rather long flight season than other moths, which helps it reproduce multiple generations yearly.
The larvae of this species can also be found feeding on a wide variety of plants, including willows, grasses, and shrubs.
The salt-and-pepper looper moth is an important pollinator in Washington state. They play an essential role in the environment by helping transfer pollen from one plant to another.
This process helps ensure the continued production of fruits and vegetables for humans and animals alike.
As a result, it’s important to protect this species from potential threats like habitat loss, pesticide use, or climate change.
Without these moths, our environment would suffer greatly, and many other species would be at risk.
10. Robin’s Carpenterworm Moth
The Robin’s Carpenterworm Moth(Prionoxystus robiniae) is one of the more distinctive and colorful types of Moths in Washington State.
Its wings have a unique, striped pattern with reddish-orange, black coloration, and white spots. The wingspan is between 2-2.5 inches, and its body is up to 2 inches long.
The adult types of Moths in Washington State are typically active at night and attracted to lights.
The larvae are wood borers, hence their common name, and they feed on the wood of various hardwoods, including maple, cherry, and oak trees.
The Robin’s Carpenterworm Moth can be found throughout Washington but is most commonly found in the western part of the state.
They are active from May through September and are more abundant during summer.
The adults can often be seen nectaring on flowers or hovering around artificial lights at night.
They lay their eggs on tree trunks, which hatch into caterpillars that feed on the bark and wood of trees for about three weeks before pupating into adult moths.
The Robin’s Carpenterworm Moth plays an important role in the environment as part of its life cycle helps control the populations of certain trees by feeding on them.
This helps promote a healthy balance of ecosystems and keeps nature in check. It is also a valuable food source for bats, birds, and small mammals.
Although they may not be as well known as other types of Moths in the Washington State region, they are important to the ecology of Washington State.
11. Red-humped Caterpillar Moth
The Red-humped Caterpillar Moth (Schizura concinna) is a moth species in Washington.
It is a medium-sized moth with an approximate wingspan of 1.5 inches and a mottled greyish-brown coloration. It has distinctive red patches on its body and wings, which gives it its name.
The caterpillar of this species is light green and covered in white hairs and can be seen from June through August.
They feed on various plants, including oak, elm, and apple trees. This moth is found throughout Washington and is an important pollinator of many wildflowers and fruit crops.
12. Polyphemus Moth
The Polyphemus Moth(Antheraea polyphemus) is a large, stunning insect found in the forests of Washington State.
It’s a member of the giant silkworm moth family with a wingspan of up to six inches across.
These types of Moths in Washington State are mostly a creamy white color with beautiful hues of pink and yellow throughout.
The outer edges of the wings feature dark brown markings that look like eyes, giving the insect its unique name.
The Polyphemus Moth is active during the spring and summer months, making it one of the most common moths in Washington State.
Adult types of Moths in Washington State feed on tree sap or nectar from flowers, while larvae feed on leaves from trees such as oak and hickory.
To attract a mate, the males fly around, emitting pheromones, which the females can detect.
13. Owlet Moth
The Owlet Moth (Psectrotarsia suavis is a moth found in Washington State. They are small to medium-sized moths with a wingspan of up to 1.5 inches.
They can be identified by their reddish-brown coloring, light and dark striped wings, and yellowish-white abdominal banding.
Owlet moths are active during the evening and can be found in forests, woodlands, and meadows throughout the state.
They feed on nectar from flowering plants and lay their eggs on the leaves of trees.
The larvae that emerge from these eggs will feed on the foliage of various trees and shrubs.
These types of Moths in Washington State are an important part of the ecosystem in Washington State, as they provide food for birds and other animals.
14. Olive-shaded Bird-dropping Moth
The Olive-shaded Bird-dropping Moth(Ponometia candefacta) is another moth species in Washington State. It is a medium to large-sized moth with a wingspan of up to 2 inches.
This moth can be identified by its olive-brown and gray-mottled coloration and curved forewings.
It is active during the day and can often be found in open areas such as grasslands and parks.
It feeds on flower nectar and lays its eggs on the leaves of various deciduous trees. The larvae that emerge from these eggs will feed on the leaves of trees.
These Moths in Washington State are important pollinators and help ensure local ecosystems’ health.
The Olive-shaded Bird-dropping Moth(Ponometia candefacta) is a moth species native to Washington.
Its wingspan range from 15-20 mm, and its body is generally olive-green with yellowish-white markings. Its head and thorax are covered in yellowish hairs, and its antennae are simple.
This moth is usually seen flying around in open fields and woodlands during the day or night, especially during warmer months.
It is an important pollinator and can be found on flowers in search of nectar.
The larvae of the Olive-shaded Bird-dropping Moth feed on leaves, particularly those of the black cherry tree.
The Olive-shaded Bird-dropping Moth is an important member of the natural ecosystem in Washington state. It helps maintain biodiversity and serves as a food source for some predators.
Its presence contributes to the health of plants and animals and helps regulate the environment.
Its beautiful colors make it a great addition to gardens and yards. With proper conservation, this species will continue to provide essential services for Washington state for many years.
15. Grape Plume Moth
The Grape Plume Moth (Geina periscelidactylus) is one of the most common types of Moths in Washington State.
This moth species is known for its distinctive black and white markings on the wings spread out like a fan. It also has a dark gray or black body with yellowish-brown legs and antennae.
The adult types of Moths in Washington State can measure up to 15-20 mm long and usually fly from April through June. The larvae are slender and green, with yellow stripes running along the sides of their bodies.
The Grape Plume Moth is typically found in open fields, meadows, roadsides, gardens, and other similar areas with plenty of vegetation. They feed mainly on the leaves of grape vines and other plants.
While their caterpillars can cause damage to crops, this species of moth does not present any major economic problems in Washington State.
However, it is important to monitor the population levels of this species to prevent any potential damage to crops or gardens.
16. Gallium Sphinx Moth
The Gallium Sphinx Moth (Hyles gallii) is a striking moth species in Washington State.
The adults have a wingspan of 3-4 inches and have a gray-brown body with a large yellow-brown area on their forewings.
These types of Moths in Washington State are active during the day and can be found in open grasslands, wooded areas, and gardens.
They feed on various plant species, including grasses, sedges, and flowering plants.
The caterpillars of this species have dark brown head capsules and reddish-brown bodies covered in white hairs. They feed primarily on wild strawberries but also other vegetation types.
These types of Moths in Washington State lay their eggs in late summer or early autumn, and the larvae hatch in late spring.
The larvae live underground and feed until they are ready to pupate. Pupation occurs during the summer, and adults emerge in the fall.
As winter approaches, adults migrate south for food and warmer climates.
The Galium Sphinx Moth is an important species in Washington State as it helps pollinate various plants, including wild strawberries.
17. Four-barred-Gray Moth
The four-barred-gray moth (Aethalura intertexta) is one of Washington state’s most commonly encountered moth species.
This species has gray forewings, four thin, black bars, and a white-yellow hindwing.
These types of Moths in Washington State can be found all year round in deciduous and coniferous forests, parks, and gardens.
They feed on nectar from various flowers, other plants, honeydew, and tree sap.
The four-barred-gray moth is a member of the family Geometridae and is considered an important part of the food web in its natural environment.
They can be green, yellow, or brown and have dark spots on the body that help camouflage them when resting on leaves.
These larvae will feed on various vegetation types, including tree leaves, grasses, and other plants.
In autumn, adult four-barred-gray moths can be seen fluttering around lights, seeking mates, and laying eggs on plant material in preparation for the next generation.
18. Divided Olethreutes Moth
The Divided Olethreutes Moth(Olethreutes bipartitana) is next on our list of types of Moths in Washington State.
It is a small, attractive species of moth found in the state of Washington. This species is typically about 1/4 to 1/2 inches long and features a brown coloration with distinctive cream-colored markings.
They are most easily identified by their divided forewings, which have two distinctively angled lines running along them.
These types of Moths in Washington State are most commonly seen flying around gardens and fields at night during summer.
The Divided Olethreutes Moth feeds primarily on flower nectar but can also eat pollen from other plants. The larvae feed on various plants, including cinquefoils and some shrubs.
They are considered a beneficial species, as their larval form helps to keep many garden pests in check.
However, their caterpillar form can sometimes damage crops if their populations become too large.
19. Corn Earworm Moth
The Corn Earworm Moth (Helicoverpa zea) is a species of moth found throughout the United States, including Washington State.
It is also known as the Cotton Bollworm or Tomato Fruitworm, which has been known to cause significant damage to crops.
The adult types of Moths in Washington State are about an inch long and brownish-gray with yellowish stripes running along their wings.
They are also characterized by their pointed antennae, which can help distinguish them from other species of moths.
The larvae of the Corn Earworm Moth are small and greenish, and they feed on plant matter such as corn silks, cotton bolls, and tomato fruits.
This species can be observed in Washington State from late spring to mid-summer.
The Corn Earworm Moth can significantly impact crops, as the larvae feed directly on the plants and can cause significant damage if left unchecked.
Their presence can also attract other insects, such as parasitic wasps, further damaging crops.
As such, farmers need to watch for this species and take necessary measures to prevent crop damage.
One way to do so is to practice crop rotation and remove infested plants from fields before the larvae become too large to control.
Additionally, insecticides may be used to reduce the population of Corn Earworm Moths.
20. Ceanothus Silkmoth
The Ceanothus Silkmoth(Hyalophora euryalus) is a beautiful species of moth found in the state of Washington. It belongs to the family Saturniidae and is a large, colorful moth.
The wingspan can reach up to four inches in length, and the body is light gray with many colorful, intricate markings. The eyes are yellow, and the underside of the wings is a pale grayish-brown.
These types of Moths in Washington State feed primarily on nectar from flowers such as thistles, lupines, and asters but can also feed on other flower species.
They are usually seen in the wild from late spring until early fall.
21. Bristly Cutworm Moth
The Bristly Cutworm Moth(Lacinipolia renigera) is common in wooded areas and grasslands in Washington State.
It is light brown and can grow up to one and a half inches long. The moth has four light yellow stripes running along the length of its wings.
These types of Moths in Washington State are most active at night and feed on flower nectar. They can also be seen flying around nightlights, attracted by the brightness.
The Bristly Cutworm Moth is a generalist feeder that can eat several food sources. This includes vegetable matter such as leaves, flowers, fruits, and some seeds.
It has even been seen eating bird droppings or sugary items like tree sap and honeydew.
Because of its ability to consume a variety of food sources, this moth can be found in many different habitats, from gardens and parks to forests and wetlands.
22. Banded Woollybear Caterpillar Moth
The Banded Woollybear Caterpillar Moth(Pyrrharctia isabella) is a moth native to Washington State and found in deciduous and coniferous forests.
It has a distinctive black, brown, and yellow banded pattern and is also known as the ‘woolly bear’ due to its appearance.
The caterpillars are active during the day and can be found in vegetation or debris on the ground.
This moth species are harmless, and it’s generally not a cause for alarm if you find one in your garden.
The adults of this species are brown with small white spots on their wings and have a wingspan of approximately 1 1⁄2 inches.
Adult Banded Woollybear Caterpillar Moths emerge in late spring and early summer. They feed on nectar from lupines, evening primrose, and wild roses.
They are often found near trees, shrubs, and other plants that provide the food they need.
These types of Moths in Washington State will lay eggs on host plants such as dogwood and willow.
When the eggs hatch, the caterpillars will feed on the foliage of these plants until they reach maturity.
Once fully grown, the caterpillars will pupate in a cocoon in the soil, where they will remain until they become adults.
23. Army Cutworm Moth
The Army Cutworm Moth (Euxoa auxiliaris) is a common moth species in Washington State. It belongs to the Noctuidae family of moths and has a wingspan of 2 to 3 inches.
The adults have brown or gray wings with a distinct pattern of yellow, white, and black stripes along their length. The larvae are usually cream-colored with a characteristic “cutworm” shape.
These types of Moths in Washington State feed on many types of vegetation and can cause extensive damage to crops if left unchecked.
They can be found in gardens, meadows, grasslands, and other open areas throughout the state. The adults are active at night and are attracted to lights, making them easy to spot and identify.
Control measures such as hand-picking and chemical treatments can help reduce the population of this pest.
24. Afflicted Dagger Moth
The Afflicted Dagger Moth (Acronticta afflicta) is a moth species found in Washington State.
These moths are usually pale grey to dark brown and measure approximately 25 to 30 millimeters in length.
They have a distinctive white band that runs across the entire length of their wings. They are typically found near dense deciduous forests and can be seen during summer.
These types of Moths in Washington State prefer to feed on low vegetation and the sap of certain tree species.
They are also attracted to the scent of ripening fruits and flowers. They are a type of nocturnal moth, meaning they come out in the evening and sleep during the day.
The female moths will lay eggs on plants and shrubs so that their larvae can feed when they hatch.
In this way, they help to pollinate flowers and other plants. The Afflicted Dagger Moth is an important part of Washington State’s ecosystem.
25. Gray Scoopwing Moth
The Gray Scoopwing Moth(Callizzia amorata) is an attractive species in Washington state. It is predominantly gray with light cream to white wings and a black patterned forewing.
It has an interesting crescent-shaped scallop pattern along the edges of its wings.
This species can be found in the spring and summer, usually around wooded areas or in gardens with flowering plants. Its larvae feed on various plant materials, including grasses, trees, and shrubs.
The Gray Scoopwing Moth is an important part of Washington state’s ecosystem as it helps pollinate flowers and other plants and provides food for other animals.
The adult Gray Scoopwing Moth has a unique way of flying; it flutters up and down like a butterfly, but its wings remain relatively still.
This behavior is useful for the moth, allowing it to locate nectar and other food sources without having to land.
This species is also attracted to light at night, making it easier to find during their active hours.
Overall, the Gray Scoopwing Moth is an interesting species that can be easily spotted in gardens and wooded areas throughout Washington state.
26. Indianmeal Moth
The Indianmeal Moth (Plodia interpunctella)is a common moth in Washington State.
It has a wing span of about half an inch, and its wings are typically grey-brown, with darker stripes and lighter speckles.
It can be seen flying around homes and other buildings, looking for food sources. The larval stage of this moth feeds on grains, cereals, seeds, dried fruits, pet food, and many other stored foods.
The adult types of Moths in Washington State lays eggs in these food sources, which then hatch and continue to feed on them.
Indianmeal moths can often be seen near windows and lights or resting on walls or ceilings.
Control of Indianmeal moths usually involves discarding infested foods, cleaning shelves and cupboards, and using insecticides or traps.
Washington state is home to a diverse array of moth species. From small, colorful moths to large, furry moths, there is something for everyone in Washington.
In our blog post, we have discussed some of the most common types of Moths in Washington State.
We have also discussed each species’ physical characteristics, habitats, and behaviors.
So, we hope you have Learnt more about the fascinating types of Moths in Washington State!