Yellow-collared Scape Moth

Yellow collared scape moth on goldenrod

A day-flying moth is the yellow collared scape moth, with a wingspan between 2 and 2 ¼”. Its wings are bluish black or bluish brown. The abdomen is blue with some iridescent shades. The name refers to the bright yellow or orange collar, very characteristic of this moth; although there are a couple of unrelated moths with a remarkably similar pattern.

Virginia Ctenucha

Grapeleaf skeletonizer

These are: Virginia ctenucha (left), larger and with an iridescent blue abdomen and the grapeleaf skeletonizer (right), smaller and with a fanned tail.

Male yellow collared scape moth on Eupatorium, snake root

Yellow collared scape moths are frequently found on flowers of Eupatorium. These plants are toxic to most animals. However these moths have developed a tolerance against the toxins. Males feed on these plants and acquire and store the toxins. Later they transfer them to the females as a mating gift. In turn females use the toxins to protect their eggs against predators.

Habitat. Meadows, open fields.

Season. Most common in late summer and fall, from July to October. It can be seen earlier and later, especially in the South.

Flowers. goldenrods, many members of the aster family, especially Eupatorium.

Back to guide

Beginners Guide to Pollinators and Other Flower Visitors


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2 Responses to “Yellow-collared Scape Moth”

  1. Tom Pelletier Says:

    Hi. I write the website One of my readers asked about a photo she took of a yellow collared scape moth. I’m curious about what you said about males providing mating gifts to females. Where you did see that information?

    Thanks! Tom

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