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Estigmene acrea facts for kids

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Salt marsh moth
Male Salt Marsh Moth, Megan McCarty112.jpg
Scientific classification
Binomial name
Estigmene acrea

The salt marsh moth or acrea moth (Estigmene acrea) is a North American moth. It is in the family Arctiidae. The caterpillar is known as the 'salt marsh caterpillar'.


Salt Marsh Moths mating, Megan McCarty113
A mating pair of salt marsh moths

The head and thorax are white. The abdomen is yellow-orange with a row of black spots. The fore wing (the top wing) is white with a variable amount of black spots (some individuals do not have these spots). The hind wing (the bottom wing) is yellow-orange in males. It is white in females. Both sexes have 3-4 black spots or blotches on their hind wings. The wingspan ranges from 4.5 to 6.8 cm.


This moth may be seen from May to August. It is seen all year in southern Florida and southern Texas.

Life cycle

Estigmene acrea eggs
Adult and egg masses
Salt Marsh Caterpillar
Salt marsh caterpillar

The eggs are a yellowish color. They are laid in clusters on the host plant leaves. The Salt Marsh Caterpillar is highly variable in color. It ranges from pale yellow to dark brownish-black. It has many soft hairs. The hairs are longer towards the end of the body. The thoracic and abdominal segments have a few rows of either orange or black warts. The chrysalis hibernates in a cocoon.

Host plants

Here is a list of host plants that the salt marsh caterpillar feeds on:

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Estigmene acrea Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.