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Species Euclea delphinii - Spiny Oak-Slug Moth - Hodges#4697

Spiny Oak Slug at Sassafras Point - Euclea delphinii Spiny Oak Slug - Euclea delphinii Spiny Oak Slug - Euclea delphinii Sping Oak Slug - Euclea delphinii Spiny Oak Slug - Euclea delphinii spiny oak slug - Euclea delphinii spiny oak slug - Euclea delphinii Bur oak slug cat - 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
Species delphinii (Spiny Oak-Slug Moth - Hodges#4697)
Hodges Number
4697
Other Common Names
Spiny Oak-Slug (larva)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Euclea delphinii (Boisduval, 1832)
Phylogenetic sequence #141925
Size
wingspan 19-31 mm (1)
larvae length to about 20 mm
Identification
Adult: forewing brown with some orange and purplish shading; green patches in median area bordered with white, varying from large to nearly absent; discal streak brown to black; hindwing brown (1)]
Larva: body usually green but may also be yellow, orange, or red; three pairs of large horn-like spines with black-tipped bristles at the front, and two pairs at the rear; clumps of smaller spines occur in rows along the back and sides; four dense clumps of small dark spines at the rear [adapted from description by L. Hyche]
Range
eastern North America: Quebec and New Brunswick to Florida, west to Texas, north to Minnesota

although Covell's Guide gives Louisiana as the western limit of the range of delphinii, Dalton State College gives a range extending west to Texas, and Knudson and Bordelon have specimens from east Texas west to at least Houston.
Habitat
deciduous forests; adults are nocturnal and come to light
Season
adults fly from May to August (1) but have been photographed as late as October in Ontario, near the northern limit of its range
larvae from August to October
Food
larvae feed on leaves of apple, basswood, cherry, chestnut, maple, oak, redbud, sycamore, willow, and other broad-leaved woody plants
Life Cycle
one generation per year in the north; two in the south
Remarks
Caution, this is a stinging caterpillar. See Auburn University page by L. Hyche for more information.

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. However, identification of adults may be possible in the western portions of the overlap zone; see comments at the genus level.
See Also
Adults are very similar to Euclea nanina [Hodges Number 4697.1], which, like E. delphinii, has a varying amount of green on the forewing (1, 2, 3, 4) and occurs from South Carolina to Florida, west to Texas, according to the range given at Dalton State College and these two lists from Texas (1, 2) which include nanina but not delphinii in Texas. The two species may be field identifiable in western portions of their range but less so in the east; see comments at the genus level.

Presumably the larvae of nanina and delphinii are very similar also.
Print References
Covell, p. 411, plate 55 #10, #14 (1)
Wagner, p. 88--caterpillar (2)
Himmelman, plate C-1, adult (3)
Bordelon and Knudson (4)
Internet References
Moth Photographers Group – images of live and pinned adults, as well as larva (5)
BOLD Systems - images of pinned DNA supported specimens (6)
live adult images and dates (Lynn Scott, Ontario)
Works Cited
1.Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America
Charles V. Covell, Jr. 2005.
2.Caterpillars of Eastern Forests
David L. Wagner, Valerie Giles, Richard C. Reardon, Michael L. McManus. 1998. U.S. Dept of Agriculture, Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team.
3.Discovering Moths: Nighttime Jewels in Your Own Backyard
John Himmelman. 2002. Down East Books.
4.Checklist of the Big Thicket National Preserve (Texas Lepidoptera Survey publication #2)
Charles Bordelon & Ed Knudson. 1999. Texas Lepidoptera Survey.
5.North American Moth Photographers Group
6.The Barcode of Life Database (BOLD)