Common Name: Alianthus webworm
Scientific Name: Atteva aurea
Season: At least two generations in the northeast, and more likely to increase due to climate change. Adults by May, and caterpillars throughout the summer and into fall.
Food: Tree-of-Heaven, an invasive species. Its native host plant can only be found in southern Florida and into the tropics. The adults take nectar from flowers.
Ecology: Originally, this species could only be found in southern Florida. However, since the introduction of the invasive plant Tree-of-Heaven (Alianthus altissima) and climate change, the Alianthus webworm has since spread north. If the moth if found on your property, it is likely that Tree-of-Heaven plants are somewhere nearby. Caterpillars form nests made of silk, and eat the leaves within.
Doug Tallamy Photo