Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

  Sighting 1194973

The Bruce Spanworm
Operophtera bruceata

Observation date: November 18, 2018
Date notes: Sighted in Bloomingdale Illinois climbing a tree in my front yard. Current temperature is 34 degrees F.
Submitted by: lpeel
Specimen type: Photograph
Observation notes: I saw it climbing up my tree in 34 degree weather. That caught my attention and I took photos and videos of it. I thought it was a moth due to its size but the way it held its wings up was more like a butterfly. I am a novice so I rely on google. Later, I google moth in winter and low and behold come up with Winter Moth! They showed an image and it was a perfect match. However. they are noted on the east coast according to what I read. I live in a suburb of Chicago and I only find references to gypsy moth in our area. Winter moth is invasive out east. But here it is, right in my front yard. So how did it get here? One theory is that I used to drive my son back and forth to NYU twice a year from 2010 thru 2014. We would stop off in Stroudsburg PA for breakpoint during travel. Maybe one entered my van during that time? Then transport back. Its all speculation, however I do have a Winter Moth on file. In this case I believe it was a male. I have video of it flying away. From what I read online, females cannot fly.
Status: Resident
Verified by: rogerdowner
Verified date: November 19, 2018
Coordinator notes: None.
Checklist region(s): United States, Illinois, DuPage County