Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

National Moth Week photos of insects and people. Here's how to add your images.

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa


Genus Apantesis

Yellow and Black Moth 2 - Apantesis anna Doris Tiger Moth - Apantesis doris Apantesis nais  - Apantesis nais - male Arctiina type caterpillar - Apantesis Erebidae: Grammia virguncula - Apantesis virguncula - male Aberrant Apantesis parthenice - Apantesis parthenice - male Apantesis virguncula - male Moth to porch light  - Apantesis
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 Erebidae
Subfamily Arctiinae (Tiger and Lichen Moths)
Tribe Arctiini (Tiger Moths)
Subtribe Arctiina
Genus Apantesis
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Apantesis Walker 1855 (1)
Grammia Rambur, 1866 (2)
Explanation of Names
?The first author was presumably Thaddeus William Harris 1841, A report on the insects of Massachusetts injurious to vegetation), see biographical note at Gray Herbarium, also here.
Apantesis is Greek, and is usually translated as "meeting" or "official greeting". Power and Sedgwick, The New Sydenham Society's Lexicon of Medicine and The Allied Sciences (1881), via Google books, gives the meaning of apantesis (απαντησισ) as the act of going to meet, opposition, antagonism, an event or consequence of disease.
Another possibility for the origin of the name is Greek apanthesis (απανθησισ), meaning the time of plucking flowers, time of floral fading (Power and Sedgwick, 1881). There is a fossil genus of butterflies with this name, Apanthesis Scudder 1889.
Wingspan 3-4 cm
Medium-sized tiger moths with very dark forewings. Identification of species is difficult, and the taxonomy may still be rather confused. See photo, print references.
Eastern and Central North America
Varied, near fields, lawns.
Summer into early fall
Flower nectar; also reported to feed on honey and water in captivity.
Life Cycle
Larvae feed on herbs, such as dandelion. Life history refers to three eastern species described by Covell (3)

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
Covell, pp. 69-70, plate 15 (3) (Apantesis)
Covell, pp. 70-72, plates 14-16 (3) (Grammia)
Schmidt, B. Christian, 2009. 'Taxonomic revision of the genus Grammia Rambur (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae: Arctiinae)'; Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 156, 507–597. With 135 figures
Internet References
Maryland Moths--A phalerata
Maryland Moths--A. nais
Clemson Univ.--A. phalerata
North Carolina State University Entomology lists several species for the state--this could represent older or newer taxonomy than in
Works Cited
1.List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum
Walker, F. 1855. List Spec. Lepid. Insects Colln Br. Mus. Vol. 1-3.
2.Putting Parasemia in its phylogenetic place: a molecular analysis of the subtribe Arctiina (Lepidoptera)
Katja Rönkä, Johanna Mappes, Lauri Kaila, and Niklas Wahlberg. 2016. Systematic Entomology.
3.Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Moths
Charles V. Covell. 1984. Houghton Mifflin Company.