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Ailanthus Webworm Moth

Atteva aurea est une espèce de lépidoptères de la famille des Yponomeutidae, observée couramment aux États-Unis. Elle était auparavant connue sous le nom d'Atteva punctella.

The ailanthus webworm (Atteva aurea) is an ermine moth now found commonly in the United States. It was formerly known under the scientific name Atteva punctella (see Taxonomy section). This small, very colorful moth resembles a true bug or beetle when not in flight, but in flight it resembles a wasp.
The ailanthus webworm is thought to be native to South Florida and the American tropics (south to Costa Rica),which were the habitat of its original larval host plants: the paradise tree (Simarouba glauca) and Simarouba amara.

Another tree called tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), originally from China, has been widely introduced and naturalized, and Atteva aurea has been able to adapt to this new host plant, giving rise to its common name, the "ailanthus webworm".

Ailanthus, common name "tree of heaven", is considered an invasive species, although it is still sold by nurseries as a yard plant, mainly because it is one of the species that will grow in polluted or otherwise difficult places. Atteva aurea can be a minor pest in nurseries, although it rarely does serious damage.
The color warns birds that the moth tastes bad because of the poison-containing plants that it eats (dixit Leslie Mertz).

Ailanthus Webworm MothAtteva aureaButterfliesEtatsUnisHétérocèresMothsPaysPrincetonUSAUnited States of AmericaVirginie OccidentaleWest Virginiaanimauxinsectesinsectspapillons