New York Natural Heritage Program
Black-bordered Lemon Moth
Marimatha nigrofimbria (Guenée, 1852)
Insects

Identifying Characteristics [-]
The black-bordered lemon moth has a wingspan ranging from 1.8 to 2.2 cm. Forewings are "lemon" yellow with a blackish outer border. Black claviform and reniform spots are present on the forewings. Some specimens also have black orbicular spots. Hindwings are yellow with "light grayish brown outer shading" (Covell 1984). The larvae are small (2 cm) and bright green with white longitudinal stripes. The subdorsal white stripe is the most prominent as it is twice the width of the other stripes. Setae are darkened with prominent, upward-curving seta arising from the upper portion of the anal proleg just below the anal plate. The head, legs, and prolegs have a pale orange cast. Spiracles are straw-colored (Wagner et al. 2011).

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification [-]
Adult.

Behavior [-]
Feculae can be "thrown" from the caterpillar's perch with a whip of the terminal abdominal segments. When handled "roughly," the caterpillar of this species can wriggle violently in addition to regurgitating a yellow-green fluid (Wagner et al. 2011).

Diet [-]
Known foodplants include crabgrass and morning glories (Covell 1984). Wagner et al. (2011) stated that caterpillars feed on panic grass and bluegrass while in captivity.
Black-bordered Lemon Moth Images
click to enlarge
The Best Time to See
Covell (1984) states that adults are present from June to September. Schweitzer (1998) stated that black-bordered lemon moth adults are present from June to October in New Jersey. Specific information is not available for New York at this time.
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Present Active
The time of year you would expect to find Black-bordered Lemon Moth present (blue shading) and active (orange shading) in New York.