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Species Hypercompe scribonia - Giant Leopard Moth - Hodges#8146

Giant Leopard Moth - Hypercompe scribonia leopard moth? - Hypercompe scribonia Hypercompe scribonia Giant Leopard Moth, - Hypercompe scribonia - female White moth with black dots - Hypercompe scribonia Giant Lepoard Moth Caterpillar - Hypercompe scribonia Moth at Northern Virginia Gas Station - Hypercompe scribonia No. 330  Hypercompe scribonia? - Hypercompe scribonia
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 Erebidae
Subfamily Arctiinae (Tiger and Lichen Moths)
Tribe Arctiini (Tiger Moths)
Subtribe Spilosomina
Genus Hypercompe
Species scribonia (Giant Leopard Moth - Hodges#8146)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Great Leopard Moth
Eyed Tiger Moth
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Hypercompe scribonia (Stoll)
Orig. Comb: Phalaena scribonia Stoll 1790
Syn: Ecpantheria scribonia (Stoll)
one of seven species in this genus in North America
wingspan 57-91 mm
larva to about 75 mm (1)
Late instar caterpillar mostly black with tufts of stiff black hairs of equal length radiating around body. Rolls up head to tail when disturbed. When curled, red intersegmental rings visible between the hairs. Spiracles orange or red. Early instar also has hairy tufts, but body colored dark brown and orange.
Adult white with black spots. Many spots are hollow rings. Hindwing with black shading along inner margin, and black terminal spots near apex.
Adult abdomen beautifully marked with blue and orange below, but color not visible at rest.
e US (TX-FL-ME-MN) / ON / W. Indies - Map - MPG
mostly: Mar-Nov - MPG
larvae feed on a great variety of broad-leaved plants, including banana, cabbage, cherry, dandelion, maple, orange, sunflower, violet, willow
Life Cycle
Overwinters as a caterpillar (Caterpillars of Eastern Forests(2) says it overwinters August to May - presumably this varies by location). One generation per year in the north; sometimes two generations in the south.
eggs; early instar larva; larva; larva; larva head; pupa; adult
Unlike some hairy caterpillars, will not sting if handled. Its defense is to stay rolled up until left alone.
Yellowish droplets of liquid are sometimes emitted from the adults when threatened or handled, as a chemical defense against predators.
See Also
Hypercompe caudata (pinned adult at Moth Photographers Group)

Leopard Moth (Zeuzera pyrina) forewing has smaller spots, and none are hollow rings.

The western Hypercompe permaculata is similar but its black spots are more rectangular, and its range apparently does not overlap with H. scribonia.
Print References
Covell, p. 68, plate 16-13 (3)
Wagner, p. 467 (1)
Internet References
live larva images plus common name references [Giant Leopard Moth, Eyed Tiger Moth] (Emily Earp and Josh Hillman,
information on rearing plus description, habits, biology, life cycle (Bill Oehlke,
synonyms plus common name reference [Eyed Tiger Moth], links, distribution, references (Markku Savela, FUNET)
classification - Ecpantheria treated as a junior synonym of Hypercompe (Brian Pitkin, Butterflies and Moths of the World)
Heuristron. Images of adults, caterpillars and pupae.
Hilton Pond. Images of adults, caterpillars and pupae.
Works Cited
1.Caterpillars of Eastern North America
David L. Wagner. 2005. Princeton University Press.
2.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.
3.Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Moths
Charles V. Covell. 1984. Houghton Mifflin Company.