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Genus Euclea

Spiny Oak-Slug Moth - Euclea delphinii - male  Nanina Oak-Slug Moth  - Euclea nanina Euclea? - Euclea Moth - Euclea incisa Euclea delphinii - Spiny Oak-Slug Moth - Euclea delphinii Spiny Oak-Slug Moth - Euclea delphinii Spiny Oak-Slug Moth - Euclea delphinii Euclea delphinii
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Zygaenoidea (Flannel, Slug Caterpillar, Leaf Skeletonizer Moths and kin)
Family Limacodidae (Slug Caterpillar Moths)
Genus Euclea
Identification
No information could be found on how to distinguish adults of E. delphinii and E. nanina [Hodges Number 4697.1]. Individuals of both species have varying amounts of green on the forewing (1, 2, 3), and their ranges overlap from South Carolina to Florida, west to Texas.

James Adams notes that "E. delphinii is very brown here in the east, but as you go west the species becomes greener and greener, with only the pictured largely green morph found in the great plains states and TX." He adds that "E. nanina is a small species which... has larger green maculations than the eastern brown morphs of Euclea delphinii... E. nanina looks like a brown moth with large green spots, not a green moth with brown edging and thorax." The combination of these comments suggests that, in the central US, mostly green Eucleas may be more likely to be E. delphinii, and mostly brown ones E. nanina.

J.D. Roberts notes that "The green basal patch in nanina always rises just above vein CuA, whereas in typical delphinii (excluding green form), the green basal patch only borders vein CuA or less, and does not drift over the vein. The size is also indicative, in that nanina is significantly smaller than delphinii."

On the other hand, E. incisa has recently been confirmed from central Texas (just west of San Antonio). If this species' range overlaps with E. delphinii, the challenge then becomes separating that pair.

Presumably the larvae of nanina and delphinii are very similar also.
Range
E. delphinii: southern Quebec and New Brunswick to Florida, west to Texas and Oklahoma, north to Minnesota
E. incisa: Arizona east to central Texas
E. nanina: South Carolina to Florida, west to Texas
E. obliqua: Arizona
Season
adults fly from May to October
Remarks
NOTE: BugGuide photos from the southeastern states previously identified as Spiny Oak-Slug Moth (Euclea delphinii) have been moved to the genus page because we have no information (as of December 2006) on how to distinguish adults or larvae of delphinii from the virtually identical Euclea nanina.

James Adams mentions that Marc Epstein is currently conducting DNA work on this genus.
Internet References
pinned adult images of male and female E. delphinii and different color forms, plus live adult images by John Himmelman and Randy Emmit (James Adams, Dalton State College, Georgia)
pinned adult images of E. nanina (James Adams, Dalton State College, Georgia)
links to images of E. incisa and E. obliqua (Bruce Walsh, Moths of Southeastern Arizona)
distribution of E. delphinii and nanina (Dalton State College, Georgia)