Wingspan 70-98 mm; male considerably smaller than female
Adult: forewing speckled gray with black zigzag PM and ST lines that sometimes touch; reniform spot represented by a black discal dot; AM line black, jagged, but does not touch reniform spot; hindwing white with diffuse dark median line, black discal spot, and varying amounts of pink at base and along inner margin
Adults fly from July to September
Larvae feed on the leaves ("needles") of various species of pine (Pinus). Particular host records include: Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), Jeffrey pine (P. jeffreyi), lodgepole pine (P. contorta), sugar pine (P. lambertiana), pinyon pine (P. edulis), and Coulter pine (P. coulteri).
Adults do not feed.
Two years are required to complete development. Second- or third-stage caterpillars overwinter the first year in tight clusters, resume feeding in the spring, pupate in June or July, and spend the second winter in underground pupation chambers lined with silk and plant litter. Some can remain in the pupal stage for up to 5 years before emerging as adults.
[copied from text at butterfliesandmoths.org]
Larvae are prepared and eaten by Paiute natives in California. For more info, see the brief account
at Wikipedia, or more detailed journal articles like Aboriginal Exploitation of Pandora Moth Larvae in East-Central California
or Harvesting Pandora Moth Larvae with the Owens Valley Paiute
Lusk's Pine Moth
) forewing has AM line that touches reniform spot (compare images
of both species by Jim Vargo at MPG)