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

See Moth submissions from National Moth Week 2023

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

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

Previous events


Species Cycnia tenera - Delicate Cycnia - Hodges#8230

white version of yellow wooly bear?? (DCP3) - Cycnia tenera What Caterpillar? - Cycnia tenera Delicate Cycnia - Cycnia tenera Delicate Cycnia - Hodges#8230 - Cycnia tenera Fuzzy grey/white caterpillar - Cycnia tenera delicate cycnia - Cycnia tenera Delicate Cycnia - Hodges#8230 - Cycnia tenera - male caterpillar on dogbane - Cycnia tenera
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Family Erebidae
Subfamily Arctiinae (Tiger and Lichen Moths)
Tribe Arctiini (Tiger Moths)
Subtribe Phaegopterina
Genus Cycnia
Species tenera (Delicate Cycnia - Hodges#8230)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Dogbane Tiger Moth
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Cycnia tenera Hübner, 1818
Phylogenetic sequence # 930404
Three Cycnia species occur in America north of Mexico.(1)
Forewing length 18-19 mm. (2)
Conspicuous yellow border on leading edge of forewing, goes most of the way to apex. In the similar Unexpected Cycnia, C. collaris, the yellow does not extend as far. Top of head and anterior portion of thorax yellow; dorsal surface of abdomen pale yellow or whitish, with large black spot on each segment.
Throughout NA - Map - MPG
Meadows, roadsides, with hostplant, sometimes day-flying.
Adults have at least two flights from May to October. (2)
Moth Photographers Group and Bug Guide add April records.
Larvae feed on
Milkweed (Asclepias spp.)
Indian Hemp (Apocynum cannabinum)
Life Cycle
1: eggs. 2 and 3: caterpillars. 4: female laying eggs. 5: male
Male produces clicks during mating, and also, to jam bat echolocation. (3)
See Also
In Cycnia collaris, darker and the yellow on the forewing is restricted to the basal half of the costa.

C. oregonensis, also found in eastern North America, has no yellow along the forewing costa or on the thorax, and its abdomen is a darker orangish-yellow.
Print References
Covell, C.V. 1984. Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Moths. p. 74, pl. 13, fig. 6.(4)
Himmelman, plate C-6 (5)
Powell, J.A., and P.A. Opler 2009. Moths of Western North America. pl. 48.6; p. 271.(2)
Works Cited
1.Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America north of Mexico.
Donald J. Lafontaine, B. Christian Schmidt. 2010. ZooKeys 40: 1–239 .
2.Moths of Western North America
Powell and Opler. 2009. UC Press.
3.Jamming bat echolocation: the dogbane tiger moth [Cycnia tenera] times its clicks to the terminal attack calls of ...
D. R. Griffin. 1994. Journal of Experimental Biology 194: 285-298 .
4.Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Moths
Charles V. Covell. 1984. Houghton Mifflin Company.
5.Discovering Moths: Nighttime Jewels in Your Own Backyard
John Himmelman. 2002. Down East Books.