Ailanthus Web-worm Moth

Ailanthus webworm moth on goldenrod

The ailanthus web-worm moth is another day flying moth. It has a pretty pattern of orange, black and white and keeps the wings folded, so that it looks like a little cigar and may be mistaken by a beetle. It is small, the wing span can range between 1.5/8 and 2.2/8”. It has become more abundant and widespread in recent years because its caterpillar used to feed on a tree common in Florida, the paradise tree. When the tree of heaven or Ailanthus altissima, was introduced from China the caterpillar adapted to this new species. Now it is found in many states where this tree is used as an ornamental. The caterpillars stay in groups and build webbed nests.

Ailanthus webworm moth on snake root

Habitat. Meadows, gardens, forest edges

Season. March to November, most common between August and September

Flowers. Many kinds, members of the aster family, such as goldenrod, also milkweeds

Back to guide

Beginners Guide to Pollinators and Other Flower Visitors

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3 Responses to “Ailanthus Web-worm Moth”

  1. myfoodandflowers Says:

    I saw one yesterday in my back yard.

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