White Tipped Black: Essential Facts and Fascinating Insights

White tipped sharks are fascinating creatures worth exploring. In this article, we’re going to dive into everything you need to know about these unique predators. You’ll discover interesting facts about their behavior, habitat, and characteristics.

Being inquisitive by nature, the oceanic whitetip and the Atlantic blacktip sharks are relatively easy to spot in tropical and subtropical ocean waters. While oceanic whitetips are large, pelagic sharks known for living in deep water, Atlantic blacktips prefer relatively shallow waters. Both of these sharks, however, are known to spend most of their time near the surface.

One fascinating aspect of their behavior is the hunting strategies they employ. Oceanic whitetips, for example, are known to hunt in coordinated groups, effectively herding schools of fish to make feeding more efficient. As you continue reading, you’ll learn even more about these intriguing sharks and what sets them apart in the vast ocean ecosystem.

White Tipped Black Basics


The White Tipped Black is a distinct species of dove, known for its unique appearance. It has a pale, whitish-grey body with dark black edges on its wings and a white-tipped tail. This striking contrast makes it easily distinguishable from other dove species, such as the common Rock Pigeon.


When it comes to size, the White Tipped Black is a relatively small bird. Smaller than the Rock Pigeon, it is better suited for life in the United States’ more arid regions. Its compact body allows for greater maneuverability and agility on the ground and in-flight.


The weight of a White Tipped Black dove typically ranges from 150 to 200 grams. This lightweight, combined with its small size, makes it well-adapted for its habitats. It can easily take off and sustain flight, even while carrying a small payload of seeds or other food items back to its home.


In terms of length, the White Tipped Black dove measures approximately 25 to 30 centimeters. This shorter length further adds to its overall agility and ability to navigate various landscapes. Despite its small size, it still boasts a captivating appearance that leaves a lasting impression on anyone who spots one in the wild.

With its unique appearance, small size, lightweight, and shorter length, the White Tipped Black dove is an intriguing species that thrives in specific habitats within the United States. Its adaptability and agility make it a remarkable bird to observe and appreciate.

Behavior and Life History


White-tipped Black doves, also known as mourning doves, are known for their distinctive whistling sound. This sound is created by the rapid beating of their wings. When you hear a mourning dove, it’s a graceful, gentle, and soothing sound that often carries through wooded or residential areas.

Eating Habits

These birds primarily feed on seeds, making them predominantly granivorous. Their diet includes various types of seeds found in their natural habitat. Sometimes, they may also consume insects, but it is less frequent. Here are some examples of what the white-tipped doves eat:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Millet
  • Safflower seeds
  • Small fruits


Similarly to other dove species, white-tipped doves display a unique foraging behavior. They typically search for food on the ground, using their bills to sift through the soil or leaf litter. Their hunting approach is more passive than active, as they patiently wait for seeds or insects to emerge from the ground while pecking.

To grasp their behavior and life history better, it can be helpful to compare white-tipped doves with another similar species: the white-tipped dove.

Feature White-tipped Black (Mourning Dove) White-Tipped Dove
Sound Whistling, caused by wing beats Coos and soft grunts
Primary food Seeds Seeds and fruits
Hunting and foraging Passive, ground feeding Ground feeding
Habitat Woodlands, residential areas Forests, scrublands

By understanding the nuances in their sounds, eating habits, and hunting techniques, you can better distinguish between the white-tipped black and the white-tipped dove as well as appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of these birds.

Habitat and Distribution


The White Tipped Black (Melanchroia chephise) moth can be found in various habitats, but they tend to prefer locations with woodland edges. These environments provide abundant food sources, shelter, and opportunities for mating. In such habitats, you may encounter them resting on leaves or other plant structures during daylight hours.


This striking moth species is commonly found across the southern United States, particularly in states like Texas, Florida, and Arizona. It is especially prevalent in South Texas, where the climate and vegetation suit its preference. To better understand the distribution, consult maps with known locations of their presence.

While the White Tipped Black thrives in warmer climates, its range can vary depending on factors like climate change, human interference, and natural habitat shifts. As a result, you may find them in other regions as well. Always keep an eye out for their distinctive combination of black wings with white-marked tips while exploring nature.

Comparison with Similar Species

Mourning Dove

Compared to other species, the mourning dove has a slender body and a round head. Its coloration is soft gray-brown with black spots on the wings. These birds are known for their distinct, mournful-sounding call.

White-Winged Dove

The white-winged dove is larger than the mourning dove and distinguished by its white wing patches and tail edges. It has a greyish-brown body with a blue eye-ring, giving it a unique appearance.

Eurasian Collared Dove

Eurasian collared doves are more robust than mourning doves but similar in size to white-winged doves. They are grayish-brown with a black neck collar, which is a key distinguishing feature of this species.

Band-Tailed Pigeon

Unlike the previous species, the band-tailed pigeon has a heavier body and a distinct yellow bill with a dark tip. Its plumage is blue-gray, and its name comes from the pale band on its tail.

Inca Dove

The Inca dove is smaller than other species, with a distinctive scaly appearance in its feathers. Their coloration is grayish-brown, and they have a slender, rectangular tail.

Common Ground Dove

Common ground doves are the smallest among these species, with a compact body and short tail. They are brownish-gray with a distinctive pinkish bill.

Feature Mourning Dove White-Winged Dove Eurasian Collared Dove Band-Tailed Pigeon Inca Dove Common Ground Dove
Size Slender Larger Robust Heavier Smaller Smallest
Head Round
Color Gray-brown Grayish-brown Grayish-brown Blue-gray Grayish-brown Brownish-gray
Markings Black spots on wings White wing patches, Blue eye-ring Black neck collar Yellow bill, Pale band on tail Scaly appearance, Rectangular tail Pinkish bill

Breeding and Survival

The White Tipped Black moth is an interesting species. When it comes to breeding, you’ll find that these moths follow some specific patterns. The adult moths lay eggs on the leaves of their host plants, usually in September. The host plants often include berry bushes which provide a reliable food source for the larvae.

After hatching, the larvae begin to feed on the leaves and sometimes, the berries of the host plant. The larvae’s diet helps them grow and eventually metamorphose into adult moths. When it comes to survival, these moths benefit from their distinctive coloring. The white-tipped black wings are not only visually appealing but also serve a practical purpose.

  • Coloration: This helps the moths avoid predators by blending in with their surroundings.
  • Larval habits: The larvae have a hearty appetite, feeding on a variety of berries and leaves.
  • Adult moth behavior: White Tipped Black moths are essential pollinators, helping perpetuate the plants they depend on for survival.

It’s interesting to note the relationship between the moths and their environment. The White Tipped Black moth population may marginally affect the berry plants they depend on by the consumption of the plant’s leaves and berries. On the other hand, the moths are valuable pollinators, contributing to the growth and reproduction of these berry plants.

In conclusion, the survival and breeding habits of White Tipped Black moths showcase the delicate balance of nature and the interconnectedness of various species within an ecosystem. The adult moths play a vital role as pollinators while the larvae benefit from the availability of food provided by the host plants. With a better understanding of their breeding and survival habits, you can appreciate the complexity and beauty of these fascinating creatures.

Human Interaction

White Tipped Black, a beautiful species of moth, found primarily in Texas, has quite an interesting interaction with humans. Unlike some other species, like the rock pigeon, it is not commonly hunted. However, it is vital to be aware of certain precautions while interacting with them.

Hunting as a recreational activity tends to involve the use of lead-based bullets, regulated by the ATF. Lead can pose a threat to various wildlife species, including moths like the White Tipped Black. When you go hunting for other game in Texas, take care to avoid impacting their habitat.

Here are some tips to minimize your impact on the White Tipped Black:

  • Keep your distance, and avoid disturbing their habitat.
  • Use alternative ammunition, like copper or steel, to prevent contaminating the ecosystem with lead.

Remember, it’s essential to respect the role that the White Tipped Black and other moths have in their ecosystems. By being conscious of your actions, you can ensure these fascinating creatures continue to thrive in their natural habitats.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – White Tipped Black


Black bug with white wing tips and red body
August 5, 2009
I shot this today, August 5, 2009, at about 6:35pm.
This bug caught my eye, because I’ve never seen anything like it.
I’m located in Tampa, Florida in the 33615 zip code.
The bug was sitting on my wall facing the east.
the wall is made of cinder blocks and it was sitting on one of the creases, so hopefully you can judge the size of it from that.
It is black and has white tips on it’s wings. The front part of it’s body is red and the rest is black to the tail.
It is a beautiful bug.
I’d love to know what type of bug this is, my daughter discovered while playing in the front yard.
Carlos B
Tampa, Fl (33615)

White Tipped Black
White Tipped Black

Hi Carlos,
This Geometrid Moth, Melanchroia chephise,
goes by the very descriptive common name of White Tipped Black.  According to BugGuide, the caterpillar is called a Snowbush Spanworm.

Letter 2 – White Tipped Black


The local bug people had no idea what this moth is. We live in Southwest Florida. Thanks

Hi Paul,
This Geometrid Moth has the very descriptive name of White Tipped Black. The scientific name is Melanchroia chephise. It is found in Florida and Texas and points south.

Letter 3 – White Tipped Black


White-Tipped Black Geometrid
Thanks for your great website. It helped us identify the White-Tipped Geometrids that were nectaring on Goldenrod in our Houston, Texas garden. I thought you might enjoy a more detailed photo.
Bill Miller

Hi Bill,
We just returned from a national journalism convention with our students and we don’t know how we are going to manage to answer even a tiny percentage of our email backlog. We have received at least three requests to identify White Tipped Blacks in the past week, and your image of Melanchroia chephise is by far the best. Thanks for sending it to our site.


  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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5 thoughts on “White Tipped Black: Essential Facts and Fascinating Insights”

  1. this bug is BAD NEWS. its caterpiller is black & yellow. grow to about an inch long. i have snow on the mountain bushes & they ate ALL of the leaves. i have been fighting them for 3 years. get rid of them!

    • This moth keeps eating the leaves on my snow on the mountain. I put insecticide on the plant to stop the worms but they keep coming back. How do you stop them????. As soon as the leaves start coming back there back


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