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Species Euclea delphinii - Spiny Oak-Slug Moth - Hodges#4697

Spiny Oak-Slug Moth - Euclea delphinii - male Spiny Oak-Slug Moth - Hodges#4697 (Euclea delphinii)_2 - Euclea delphinii Spiny Oak Slug Moth Caterpillar - Euclea delphinii Spiny Oak Slug Moth - Euclea delphinii Euclea delphinii, probably - Euclea delphinii Spiny Oak Slug - Euclea delphinii Spiny Oak-Slug Moth - Euclea delphinii moth - Euclea delphinii
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
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)
Genus Euclea
Species delphinii (Spiny Oak-Slug Moth - Hodges#4697)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Spiny Oak-Slug (larva)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Euclea delphinii (Boisduval, 1832)
Phylogenetic sequence #141925
wingspan 19-31 mm (1)
larvae length to about 20 mm
Adult: 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)(MPG)
deciduous forests; adults are nocturnal and come to light
adults fly from May to August (1) but have been photographed as late as October in Ontario, near the northern limit of its range
larvae from August to October
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" (3)
Life Cycle
one generation per year in the north; two in the south
Caution, 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.
See Also
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, 2, 3, 4) 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, 2) 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.
Print References
Covell, p. 411, plate 55 #10, #14 (1)
Wagner, p. 88--caterpillar (4)
Himmelman, plate C-1, adult (5)
Bordelon and Knudson (6)
Internet References
Works Cited
1.Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America
Charles V. Covell, Jr. 2005.
2.Illustrated Checklist of the Lepidoptera of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas, Vol. 2B: Macro-Moths
Ed Knudson & Charles Bordelon. 2004. Texas Lepidoptera Survey, Houston. xiv + 59 pp. 20 plates.
3.The Life-Histories of the New York Slug Caterpillars
Harrison G. Dyar. 1895. Journal of the New York Entomological Society.
4.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.
5.Discovering Moths: Nighttime Jewels in Your Own Backyard
John Himmelman. 2002. Down East Books.
6.Checklist of the Big Thicket National Preserve (Texas Lepidoptera Survey publication #2)
Charles Bordelon & Ed Knudson. 1999. Texas Lepidoptera Survey.
7.North American Moth Photographers Group
8.BOLD: The Barcode of Life Data Systems