Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Hemileuca eglanterina - Elegant Sheep Moth - Hodges#7744

Hemileuca nuttali - Hemileuca eglanterina - male Elegant Sheep Moth - Hemileuca eglanterina Elegant Sheep Moth - Hemileuca eglanterina Mystery moth? in Bozeman MT - Hemileuca eglanterina - female Elegant Sheep Moth - Hemileuca eglanterina - male Elegant Sheep Moth - Hemileuca eglanterina - male red-winged moth - Hemileuca eglanterina - male - female unknown moth, Klickitat County - Hemileuca eglanterina - male
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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
Hemileuca eglanterina page from Butterflies & Moths of NA - Image of larva & distribution map
Hemileuca eglanterina page from Pacific Northwest Moths web site
Hemileuca eglanterina page from Macromoths of Northwest Forests and Woodlands(2)
Alberta Entomology - Image of pinned adult & bionomic data
Specimen images: ♂ dorsal, ♂ ventral; ♀ dorsal, ♀ ventral from the Spencer Entomological Collection of Univ. of British Columbia
Moths of Canada - Images of 2 pinned adults
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.