Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Discussion of 2018 gathering

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Photos from the 2010 Workshop in Grinnell, Iowa

Photos from the 2009 gathering in Washington


Species Hemileuca eglanterina - Elegant Sheep Moth - Hodges#7744

Hemileuca nuttali - Hemileuca eglanterina - male Elegant Sheep Moth - Hemileuca eglanterina Elegant Sheep Moth - Hodges#7744 (Hemileuca eglanterina - Hemileuca eglanterina Stinging caterpillar - Hemileuca eglanterina Hairy caterpillar on Ceanothus palmeri - Hemileuca eglanterina Unknown Orange Moth 2 - Hemileuca eglanterina Hemileuca eglanterina Hemileuca eglanterina Elegant Sheepmoth Walker CA - Hemileuca eglanterina
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 Hemileuca
Species eglanterina (Elegant Sheep Moth - Hodges#7744)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Sheep Moth, Common Sheep Moth, Western Sheep Moth
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Saturnia eglanterina (Boisduval, 1852)
Explanation of Names
"Sheep Moth" comes from presence of moth in pastures where sheep graze. (1)
Wingspan 56-85 mm
Variable. Forewing usually rose-pink and orange, usually with black bands, though sometimes absent. Hindwing is orange with a similar pattern, though variable: sometimes absent, sometimes covering most of hindwing. (2)

Day-flying, reputed to fly fast and close to the ground.
Widely distributed in western North America: Rocky Mountains west to Pacific, from Southern California to southern Canada. In California found west of the crest of the Sierras, absent from San Joaquin Valley except for Sacramento Delta, found in southern California only in the mountains. (3)
Mountain Meadows
Life Cycle
Larvae feed on trees, shrubs, esp. Rosaceae, such as rose (Rosa), Hawthorn (Crataegus), cherry (Prunus), etc. Also willow (Salix), aspen (Populus), birch (Betula).
See Also
Other Hemileuca.
Print References
Milne, pp. 774-775, fig. 571 (1)
Miller and Hammond, Macromoths of Northwest Forests and Woodlands, #232, p. 107, photos of specimen. (2)
Powell and Hogue, pp. 229-230, fig. 293, illustrate and describe H. eglanterina. (3)
Arnett and Jacques, #244 (4)
Internet References
Moths of Canada - Images of pinned adults
NPWRC - Images of pinned adults
Butterflies & Moths of NA - Image of larva & distribution map
Alberta Entomology - Image of pinned adult & bionomic data
Works Cited
1.National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders
Lorus and Margery Milne. 1980. Knopf.
2.Macromoths of Northwest Forests and Woodlands
Jeffrey Miller, Paul Hammond. 2000. USDA Forest Service, FHTET-98-18.
3.California Insects
Jerry A. Powell, Charles L. Hogue. 1989. University of California Press.
4.Simon & Schuster's Guide to Insects
Dr. Ross H. Arnett, Dr. Richard L. Jacques. 1981. Fireside.