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Species Citheronia sepulcralis - Pine Devil Moth - Hodges#7708

caterpillar - Citheronia sepulcralis Unknown Caterpillar - Citheronia sepulcralis Citheronia sepulcralis Pine Devil Moth - Citheronia sepulcralis Citheronia sepulcralis citheronia? - Citheronia sepulcralis Unidentified larva - Citheronia sepulcralis Pine Devil Moth - Citheronia sepulcralis - male
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 Ceratocampinae (Royal Moths)
Genus Citheronia
Species sepulcralis (Pine Devil Moth - Hodges#7708)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Pine Devil (caterpillar)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Citheronia sepulcralis Grote & Robinson, 1865; Proc. Ent. Soc. Philad. 4 : 222
* phylogenetic sequence #224250
common southward
Wingspan 70-100 mm [Charles Covell]; 80-135 mm [Bill Oehlke].
Larvae to 110 mm long.
Adult: body chocolate brown with long thick abdomen; forewing dull brownish-violet with small rose basal spot and obscure blackish PM line and reniform spot; hindwing rose at base; median line and discal spot blackish; faint rose outlines of veins on forewing and hindwing
[adapted from description by Charles Covell]

Larva: brown or grayish with small black markings; long dorsal "horns" on thoracic segments, and shorter dorsal spines on abdominal segments
Eastern United States: Previously north to Maine but now likely extirpated north of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, common southward to Florida along Gulf Coast west to Louisiana. Found inland from eastern Louisiana northeast through central Tennessee, eastern Kentucky, to Southern Ohio. Single report from Illinois erroneous.
Coniferous and mixed coniferous/deciduous forests.
Adult: June-August (one brood) in north; April-June and August-September (two broods) farther south; possibly several broods in Florida from March-October.
Larvae feed on several species of pine (Pinus), including Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida), Eastern White Pine (P. strobus), and Caribbean Pine (P. caribaea).
Adults do not feed.
Life Cycle
Adults emerge in late morning and mate that night; females lay eggs the following night singly or in groups of 2-3 at base of pine needles; eggs hatch in 7-10 days; caterpillars are solitary feeders; fully-grown caterpillars pupate in burrows in loose soil; overwinters as a pupa in soil.
[adapted from text by Jane Struttmann, USGS]
A little-known silk moth, but subtly beautiful.
Print References
Covell, p. 46, plate 9 #1 (1)
Tuskes, p. 62, plates 1, 7 (2)
Internet References
Forestry Images (Chris Maier, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station)
Fairly common in the North Carolina State University Entomology collection, with 30 pinned, including specimens from that state.
pinned adult and live larva images (James Adams, Dalton State College, Georgia)
pinned adult and live larva images by Paul Opler and Steve Stone respectively, plus common name reference, text overview by Jane Struttmann, and US distribution map (Moths of North America; USGS)
overview of biology (Bill Oehlks,
Works Cited
1.Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Moths
Charles V. Covell. 1984. Houghton Mifflin Company.
2.The Wild Silk Moths of North America: A Natural History of the Saturniidae of the United States and Canada
Paul M. Tuskes, James P. Tuttle, Michael M. Collins. 1996. Cornell University Press.