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Species Apantesis nais - Nais Tiger Moth - Hodges#8171

Moth - Apantesis nais - male Tiger Moth - Apantesis nais - male Nais Tiger Moth - Apantesis nais Which tiger is this? - Apantesis nais Erebidae: Apantesis  - Apantesis nais Erebidae: Apantesis  - Apantesis nais Nais Tiger Moth - Apantesis nais Nais Tiger Moth ? - Apantesis nais
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Family Erebidae
Subfamily Arctiinae (Tiger and Lichen Moths)
Tribe Arctiini (Tiger Moths)
Subtribe Arctiina
Genus Apantesis
Species nais (Nais Tiger Moth - Hodges#8171)
Hodges Number
8171
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
First described in 1773 by Dru Drury under the name Spilosoma nais
Explanation of Names
Nais (Ναις) is a name in Greek mythology for the Naiads, or water nymphs (sometimes used for nymphs, in general), and also the name of several wives or mothers of various mortals and immortals. Since Drury's description doesn't explain the name, it may not be possible to tell which one he had in mind.
Size
3-4 cm
Identification
Larger than other Apantesis spp. Has black spots in median area of HW. HW is usually reddish, as in A. phalerata and A. vittata, but is frequently yellow. HW is red in some female specimens.
Range
Quebec and Maine south perhaps as far as northern Florida, west to Texas and South Dakota
Season
April to October, but most seen in June and August
Food
Caterpillars feed on grasses, violets, plantain, clover, and other plants.
Life Cycle
Remarks
There is no 100% consistent diagnostic characteristic in wing maculation or spots/no spots on the patagia (the "collar"), to reliably distinguish nais/carlotta/phalerata/vittata. The only full-proof method is dissection and examination of genitalia (the exception is in male phalerata, in which the valve is easily distinguished by its longer, up-curved apex. So one could brush the scales away from the last sternite and see it without dissection. The nais/carlotta/vittata group have rather blunt and rounded apices of the valve.)

However, within this group, using the sum of typical (although not necessarily diagnostic) characteristics, can allow for a reasonably probable species ID.
-- J.D. Roberts
Print References
Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America by Charles V. Covell, Jr.
Internet References