Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Anisota virginiensis (Drury)
Orig. Comb: Phalaena virginiensis Drury 1773
Explanation of Names
Kitching et al. (2018) treat A. v. pellucida
(Smith, 1797) and A. v. discolor
Ferguson, 1971 as full species.(1)
As BugGuide follows the classification at All-Leps
(see discussion here
) we recognize 3 subspecies of the Pink-striped Oakworm. For our purposes these are best defined by distribution as stated by Ferguson (2)
. See discussion here
wingspan 33-45 mm (3)
; female larger than male; the female shown at CBIF has a wingspan of 52 mm
Adult males have pronounced hyaline (translucent) area on forewing, no black spotting. Females have no black spotting on wings, and purplish margin of wings, obvious on forewing in living specimens.
Caterpillar pink-striped, similar to stigma group, but easily identified.
Eastern North America - Map
A. virginiensis virginiensis - Northern Pink-striped Oakworm - as far south as North Carolina, except that on the coastal plain from Cape Hatteras (NC) south the southern ssp. occurs
A. virginiensis pellucida - Southern Pink-striped Oakworm - SE states from the coastal plain of NC at about Cape Hatteras to all of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Louisiana
A. virginiensis discolor - Texas Pink-striped Oakworm - Texas
From the distribution map HERE
one can imagine the borders between the 3 subspecies.
Also see Remarks section below.
One flight in north (early June into July). Two flights in mid-range: late July-early September. Three flights possible in south. Apparently the only Anisota
species with a spring flight. (4)
Some pupae overwinter until spring.
The key to the subspecies (from (2)
- Northeastern region south to North Carolina . . . . . . . . . . . virginiensis virginiensis
- South Carolina to Florida, west to Louisiana . . . . . . . . . . . virginiensis pellucida
(but see comment regarding coastal plain of NC under Range)
- Texas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .virginiensis discolor
The caterpillar of Anisota stigma is similar, but colors are different