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Species Hemileuca griffini - Griffin's Sheepmoth - Hodges#7740

Hemileuca magnifica? - Hemileuca griffini Unknown Moth_01 - Hemileuca griffini
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 Bombycoidea (Silkworm, Sphinx, and Royal Moths)
Family Saturniidae (Giant Silkworm and Royal Moths)
Subfamily Hemileucinae (Buck and Io Moths)
Tribe Hemileucini
Genus Hemileuca
Species griffini (Griffin's Sheepmoth - Hodges#7740)
Hodges Number
7740
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Described as Hemileuca griffini in 1978, by P.M.Tuskes.(1)
Explanation of Names
Named for Bruce Griffin, who collected the first individuals of this species in 1974.(1)
Size
Adult wingspan 1.75" to 3" (2)
Caterpillar to about 2"
Identification
Male abdomen red tipped, otherwise black. Female abdomen red/black banded. Upperside of wings is white with narrow black markings.(2)

Host-plant and locality may also be helpful for ID, since this species has such narrow feeding habits and restricted distribution.
Range
Southern Utah, south to central Arizona, west to southern Nevada.(2)
Habitat
High desert scrub.
Season
Caterpillars active April-May, adults active August-October.(2)
Food
Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima).(1,2,3)
Also reported on other genera of Rosaceae: Amelanchier, Cercocarpus, Prunus. One report, possibly erroneous, of feeding on Ephedra.(3)
Life Cycle
Eggs are laid on hostplant in autumn, and hatch in April. Pupae spend the summer just below litter or soil surface, and there is one flight of adults in August-October.(1),2)
Remarks
This species is considered to be threatened, due to its restricted range, and possible threats to its habitat from grazing of livestock. (4)

Like other species in this genus, H. griffini caterpillars have venomous spines that cause a painful sting.