Species Euclea delphinii - Spiny Oak-Slug Moth - Hodges#4697
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Zygaenoidea (Flannel, Slug Caterpillar, Leaf Skeletonizer Moths and kin)
Family Limacodidae (Slug Caterpillar Moths)
Species delphinii (Spiny Oak-Slug Moth - Hodges#4697)
Other Common Names
Spiny Oak-Slug (larva)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Euclea delphinii (Boisduval, 1832)
Phylogenetic sequence #141925
larvae length to about 20 mm
: forewing brown with some orange and purplish shading; green patches in median area bordered with white, varying from large to nearly absent; discal streak brown to black; hindwing brown (1)
Larva: body usually green but may also be yellow, orange, or red; three pairs of large horn-like spines with black-tipped bristles at the front, and two pairs at the rear; clumps of smaller spines occur in rows along the back and sides; four dense clumps of small dark spines at the rear [adapted from description by L. Hyche]
e. NA: Quebec and New Brunswick to Florida, west to Texas, north to Minnesota - Map (2)
deciduous forests; adults are nocturnal and come to light
Univoltine on Block Island
, RI, with a flight mainly from mid-June to mid-July.(3)
larvae feed on leaves of apple, basswood, cherry, chestnut, maple, oak, redbud, sycamore, willow, and other broad-leaved woody plants
Dyar recorded on "oak, chestnut, bayberry, Andromeda
, beech, sour gum (Nyssa
), and wild cherry" (4)
one generation per year in the north; two in the south
, this is a stinging caterpillar. See Auburn University page
by L. Hyche for more information.
NOTE: BugGuide photos from the southeastern states previously identified as Spiny Oak-Slug Moth (Euclea delphinii
) have been moved to the genus page
because we have no information (as of December 2006) on how to distinguish adults or larvae of delphinii
from the virtually identical Euclea nanina
. However, identification of adults may be possible in the western portions of the overlap zone; see comments at the genus level.
Adults are very similar to Euclea nanina
[Hodges Number 4697.1], which, like E. delphinii
, has a varying amount of green on the forewing (1
) and occurs from South Carolina to Florida, west to Texas, according to the range given at Dalton State College
and these two lists from Texas (1
) which include nanina
but not delphinii
in Texas. The two species may be field identifiable in western portions of their range but less so in the east; see comments at the genus level.
Presumably the larvae of nanina and delphinii are very similar also.
Covell, p. 411, plate 55 #10, #14 (1)
Wagner, p. 88--caterpillar (5)
Himmelman, plate C-1, adult (6)
|4.||The Life-Histories of the New York Slug Caterpillars|
Harrison G. Dyar. 1895. Journal of the New York Entomological Society.
|5.||Caterpillars of Eastern Forests|
David L. Wagner, Valerie Giles, Richard C. Reardon, Michael L. McManus. 1998. U.S. Dept of Agriculture, Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team.