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footman moth

any of a group of insects in the tiger moth family, Arctiidae (order Lepidoptera), for which the common name footman is probably derived from the stiff, elongate appearance of the adult moths, which usually align their narrow wings (span 2 to 5 cm [45 to 2 inches]) with the body as if standing at attention. Although most are drab browns and grays, some species are colourful. The scarlet lichen moth (Hypoprepia miniata) has pink and gray striped forewings and yellow and gray hindwings, and the black-and-yellow lichen moth (Lycomorpha pholus) has black wings with yellow markings. The larvae of the footman moth have long, sparse hairs arising from wartlike tubercles and feed on lichen.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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