giant leopard moth

(Hypercompe scribonia)

               
Hodges #

8146

giant leopard moth

 

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common in the United States east of the Great Plains

Flight/Season

One generation per year: May to June

Habitat/Hosts

 

Size

Male Total Length: up to 2″

Female Total Length: up to 1¼″

Wingspan: 2¼″ to 3½″

Photo by Luciearl

Identification

This is a common, large, easily recognized tiger moth. It is one of the largest tiger moths in eastern North America. Males are up to 2″ long with a wingspan up to 3½″. Females are much smaller, no more than 1¼″ in length.

The thorax is white with twelve bluish-black spots. There is a tympanal hearing organ on each side of the thorax, but this is covered with hairs and is not visible from above.

The abdomen is strikingly colored but not visible when the moth is at rest. It is bright orange above with large iridescent blue and black bands in the middle (dorsally) and a row of large iridescent blue and black spots on each side (laterally).

The forewings are white with numerous glossy bluish-black spots. The spots are highly variable. They may be solid, boldly outlined with a white center, or narrowly outlined and hollow. The outer portions of the forewing lose their white scales and become translucent as the moth ages.

The caterpillar is up to 3 long and is densely covered with long stiff bristles (setae). The setae are sharply pointed and barbed. They are in clusters rising from prominently raised warts. A narrow, dull red ring between each abdominal segment is visible when the caterpillar moves or curls up into a defensive posture. There is a small breathing hole (spiracle) on both sides of each thoracic segment and all but the last abdominal segment. The spiracles are dull red.

 
Similar
Species

 


Larval Food

Deciduous trees and a wide array of low growing herbaceous and woody plants.

 
Adult Food

Adults do not feed.

 
Life Cycle

Almost mature caterpillars overwinter under logs and beneath bark.

 
Behavior

The caterpillar hides in leaf litter or under loose bark during the day and comes out at night to feed. When threatened, it will roll up.

Adults are active at night. Male adults are attracted to light. Females are not. When threatened, they will curl up, displaying their brightly colored abdomen, and exude a yellow, acrid-smelling liquid.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 21, 24, 29, 30, 71, 75.


Comments

Taxonomy
In 2010 the family Arctiidae (tiger moths and lichen moths) was transferred to the family Erebidae mostly intact but demoted to a subfamily. The former subfamilies are now tribes, the former tribes now subtribes.


Taxonomy

Order:

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)

 

Suborder:

Glossata

 

Infraorder:

Neolepidoptera

 

Parvorder:

Heteroneura

 

No Rank:

Ditrysia

 

No Rank:

Obtectomera

 

Superfamily:

Noctuoidea (noctuid moths)

 

Family:

Erebidae

 

Subfamily:

Arctiinae (tiger and lichen moths)

 

Tribe:

Arctiini

 

Subtribe:

Spilosomina

 
Subordinate Taxa

giant leopard moth (Hypercompe scribonia denudata)

giant leopard moth (Hypercompe scribonia scribonia)

 
Synonyms

Ecpantheria scribonia

 
Common
Names

eyed tiger moth

fever-worm (caterpillar)

giant leopard moth

great leopard moth


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Seta

A usually rigid bristle- or hair-like structure on butterflies and moths used to sense touch. Plural: setae.

 

Spiracle

A small opening on the surface of an insect through which the insect breathes.

 

Tympanum

An external hearing structure. In reptiles and amphibians, the circular, disk-like membrane that covers the ear opening. In insects, the membrane covering the air sac and sensory neurons. Plural: tympani.

 

 

 

 

 

       

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Luciearl


Giant Woolly Bear

  giant leopard moth    

       
       
       

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  Giant Leopard Moth (Hypercompe scribonia)
Bill Keim
 
  Giant Leopard Moth (Hypercompe scribonia)  
     
  Hypercompe scribonia (Giant Leopard Moth)
Allen Chartier
 
  Hypercompe scribonia (Giant Leopard Moth)  

 

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  Giant Leopard Moth Hypercompe scribonia
Anangke
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 9, 2013

I found this moth in my kitchen sink. I leave the front door open so I can hear the cats while they are outside. I guess it flew in. Very pretty. The moth couldn't right himself. I hope he hasn't been in long and got too hungry or thirsty to fly. I'll check on him in the morning.

Wikipedia info

This species has a wingspan of 3 inches (nearly 8 cm). The wings of this moth are bright white with a pattern of neat black blotches, some solid and some hollow. The abdomen is dark blue with orange markings, the male has a narrow yellow line on the sides. Its legs have black and white bands. Adult moths are strictly nocturnal and do not generally fly before nightfall (Fullard & Napoleone 2001).

Hypercompe scribonia, Giant leopard moth, white moth with black spots, Large white moth with black spots, Eyed Tiger Moth,

 
     
  Giant Leopard Moth Beautiful Ultra Macro.
Ray OfMinneapolis
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 15, 2014

Beautiful Giant Leopard Moth Ultra Macro!

Look at the black spots on this large white leopard moth. Scientific name is Hypercompe scribonia. Recorded with a Raynox DCR 250 Super Macro lens converter on a Powershot SX40HS.

 
     
  Leopard Moth (Erebidae: Hypercompe scribonia) Dorsal View
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 3, 2011

Photographed at Nisswa. Minnesota (01 July 2011). Thank you to 'Shotguneddie' (@Bugguide.net) for confirming the identity of this specimen!

 
     
  Leopard Moth (Erebidae: Hypercompe scribonia) Lateral View
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 3, 2011

Photographed at Nisswa, Minnesota (01 July 2011).

 
     
  Giant Leopard Moth ( Hypercompe Scribonia ) in East Dallas Backyard
DoogieDownProd
 
   
 
About

Published on Mar 13, 2012

I came across this black and white Giant Leopard Moth in my backyard a few years ago. The orange and black markings on its body are pretty interesting.

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

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Luciearl
9/5/2018

Location: Lake Shore, MN

Giant Woolly Bear

giant leopard moth


     
     
 

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