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Species Melanchra picta - Zebra Caterpillar Moth - Hodges#10293

Unidentified caterpillar on a snapdragon - Melanchra picta 1512a. Melanchra picta - Zebra Caterpillar Moth 10293 - Melanchra picta Noctuidae: Sideridis maryx? - Melanchra picta Noctuidae: Melanchra picta - Melanchra picta Zebra Cat - Melanchra picta Zebra Caterpillar Moth - Melanchra picta Caterpillars on beach pea - Melanchra picta Zebra Caterpillar Moth - Hodges#10293 - Melanchra picta
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Family Noctuidae (Owlet Moths)
Subfamily Noctuinae (Cutworm or Dart Moths)
Tribe Hadenini
Genus Melanchra
Species picta (Zebra Caterpillar Moth - Hodges#10293)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Melanchra picta (Harris, 1841)
Ceramica picta Harris, 1841
adults are uncommon but larvae may be a pest
wingspan 30-42 mm
larvae to 30 mm
Adult: head, thorax, and forewing deep reddish-brown; upper half of forewing dark brown from base to reniform spot; reniform spot gray-filled and indistinct; broken whitish subterminal line is only line clearly visible
hindwing white with narrow brown band at outer margin

Larva: two broad yellow horizontal stripes run along each side of body, separated by vertical black and white lines; head orange to bright red; legs and underside pink
southern half of Canada and northern half of United States
fields, vegetable gardens, waste places
adults fly from April to September
larvae from June to September
larvae feed on alfalfa, cabbage, carrot, clover, dandelion, dock (Rumex spp.), pea, pigweed (Amaranthus spp.), strawberry, sweetfern, blackberry, blueberry, hazel, apple, birch, cherry, plum, willow
Life Cycle
one generation per year in west; two or more generations in east; overwinters either as a pupa (in east) or partially-grown larva (in west)
Print References
Powell, J.A. & P.A. Opler, 2009. Moths of Western North America. University of California Press pl. 55, 31; p. 303. (1)