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Species Coloradia pandora - Pandora Moth - Hodges#7724

Moth-Bee-Caterpillar - Coloradia pandora - female Pandora Moth Larvae--Late Instar - Coloradia pandora Coloradia pandora Moth - Coloradia pandora Pandora Moth - Coloradia pandora - male Large dark grey/brown moth - Coloradia pandora Pandora Moth - Coloradia pandora - male Pandora Moth - Coloradia pandora - male
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Bombycoidea (Silkworm, Sphinx, and Royal Moths)
Family Saturniidae (Giant Silkworm and Royal Moths)
Subfamily Hemileucinae (Buck and Io Moths)
Tribe Hemileucini
Genus Coloradia
Species pandora (Pandora Moth - Hodges#7724)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Pandora Pine Moth
Pandora Pinemoth
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
Western United States
Pine forests
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.
Life Cycle
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.
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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.
See Also
Lusk's Pine Moth (Coloradia luski) forewing has AM line that touches reniform spot (compare images of both species by Jim Vargo at MPG)
Print References
Powell & Opler(1), pg. 238.
Internet References
pinned adult image and species account (Jeff Miller, Macromoths of Northwest Forests and Woodlands, USGS)
pinned adult image by Paul Opler, plus US distribution map and species account (
pinned adult image plus photos of related species by Jim Vargo (Moth Photographers Group)
live larva images and species account (USDA Forest Service)
Works Cited
1.Moths of Western North America
Powell and Opler. 2009. UC Press.