Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Alypia octomaculata - Eight-spotted Forester - Hodges#9314

Larva on sumac - Alypia octomaculata Caterpillar - Alypia octomaculata Eight-Spotted Forester Moth - Hodges #9314 - Alypia octomaculata Alypia octomaculata? - Alypia octomaculata Eight Spotted Forrester? - Alypia octomaculata Alypia octomaculata Alypia octomaculata? - Alypia octomaculata Is it too late to add moths for National Moth week? - Alypia octomaculata
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 Noctuidae (Owlet Moths)
Subfamily Agaristinae
Genus Alypia
Species octomaculata (Eight-spotted Forester - Hodges#9314)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Alpie à huit points - En français :)… Ilze V-G.
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Alypia octomaculata (Fabricius)
Orig. Comb: Sesia octomaculata Fabricius, 1775
Explanation of Names
OCTOMACULATA: means 8-spotted; the wings have a total of 8 large spots or patches
5 spp. n. of Mex.
Wingspan 30-37 mm
larva to 22 mm
Adult: forewing black (bluish sheen visible when fresh) with two large yellow or cream-colored patches; hindwing black with two large white patches; prominent hairy yellow shoulder stripes (tegulae); legs with prominent tufts of orange hair-like scales
Specimen identified by DNA analysis:

Larva: mature larva is a mixture of orange, black, and white: thick black-spotted orange band at base of each segement, followed by several thin black bands interspersed with thin white bands; dorsal surface with long sparse hairs
immature larva is orange interspersed with light gray areas
Primarily: TX-FL-ON-MN, but with scattered records across western N. Amer.; Maps: MPG, BAMONA
Open areas with flowers, presumably near woodland edges where hostplants grow.
March-July (BG data)
Larvae feed on leaves of grape (Vitis spp.), peppervine (Ampelopsis spp.), and Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia).
Adults take nectar from flowers of herbaceous plants, and fly during the day.
Life Cycle
Adults emerge in early spring and lay eggs on hostplant in May and June; one generation per year in the north, or two in the south; overwinters as a pupa in the soil or in crevices of old wood
Often mistaken for a butterfly because it visits flowers during the day
See Also
Six-spotted Forester (Alypia langtoni) needs careful examination according to Lars Crabo:
"Alypia langtoni is common north and west and A. octomaculata is eastern. Note that Alypia langtoni is sexually dimorphic:
Female Alypia langtoni only have 6 spots (one on hind wing) whereas males have 8 spots (two on hind wing). Male A. langtoni have rings on the antennal shafts (which might not be visible on a photo) whereas A. octomaculata does not."

Ridings' Forester (Alypia ridingsii) has three white patches on forewing, lacks colored "shoulder pads", and occurs only in the far west (compare images of all three species at CBIF)

Alypia wittfeldi has larger patches on forewing, a larger white patch at base of hindwing, and is restricted to southeastern United States

Crambids such as Grape Leaffolder (Desmia funeralis) and White-spotted Sable (Anania funebris) are similar

The former has only one white spot on the hindwing, lacks colored "shoulder pads", and has a long pointed abdomen; the latter is smaller, has three white spots on the forewing (the middle spot is tiny) for a total of ten spots on the wings, and lacks tufts of orange hair-like scales on the legs

In southern Texas, Androloma disparata looks very similar. They do not have a white spot, behind the head and no white dorsal-stripe on the abdomen.
Print References
Covell p. 140, plate 15 (1)
Brimley, p. 269 (2)
Internet References
Moth Photographers Group - range map, photos of living and pinned adults.
Maryland Moths live adult images plus common name reference and hostplants (Larry Line, Maryland)
Forestry Images live larva image by Lance Risley, William Paterson University, New Jersey (
Kansas State University live images by Jacalyn Goetz of adults and larvae of various ages
Virginia Vineyards live larva image plus biology and damage to hosts (U. of Vermont)
Moths of North Dakota pinned adult and live larva images, plus description, foodplants, similar species, distribution (Gerald Fauske, North Dakota State U.)
Insects of Cedar Creek phenology (seasonality), habitat, foodplants (John Haarstad, U. of Minnesota)
Dallas Butterflies pinned adult image, flight season, foodplants (Dale Clark, Texas)
distribution in Canada list of provinces (U. of Alberta, using CBIF data)
Works Cited
1.Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Moths
Charles V. Covell. 1984. Houghton Mifflin Company.
2.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.