Other Common Names
Peigler's Oakworm Moth, Orange-striped Oakworm (larva)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Guide as written here represents a possible species complex, or clinal series of Anisota senatoria
(7719), Anisota peigleri
(7720), and Anisota finlaysoni
(7721). See Tuskes (1)
Adults similar to other Anisota
, light orange with spotted wings. Larvae are orange or yellow-striped with variable amounts of spininess. The larvae of this species, or species group, are distinctive compared to other groups of Anisota
. Larval characteristics may give one an identification of the regional forms (senatoria, peigleri, finlaysoni
), which may be separate species, or a cline (regional forms that blend smoothly into each other). See Tuskes for details. (1)
i. A. senatoria
Eastern US, absent from deep south and northern areas. Adults are very orange, have black wing spots. Hyaline area on wings of male more extensive in north. One flight, late June to mid-July. Caterpillars have orange stripe in addition to yellow stripes.
ii. A. finlaysoni *
Isolated species, south-central Ontario. Similar to senatoria.
iii. A. peigleri *
Mountains Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Piedmont North Carolina, South Carolina Georgia, into central Florida. Adults similar to A. senatoria. One flight: mid-July to late August. Males don't have much hyaline area on wings. Caterpillars have no orange stripe, just yellow stripes. May be clinal variant of A. senatoria.
Due to the taxonomic complexity and uncertainty, members of this group will be listed under the most widespread member, senatoria, here. This seems the most useful treatment, since larvae of this group are distinguishable from other Anisota larvae.
Form/species senatoria: widespread in eastern United States, parts of southern Canada.
Form/species finlasoni: limited distribution in south-central Ontario along the north shore of Lake Ontario.
Form/species peigleri: Eastern Kentucky, Tennessee; mountains and piedmont of Carolinas, Georgia south into central Florida
Late June-July (senatoria), July-August (peigleri), June-July (finlaysoni).
Adults do not feed.
Larvae feed on Oaks. Form/species peigleri seems to prefer the black oak group: Quercus palustris, nigra, etc. Males fly and seek mates in the daytime, as is typical of this genus. Populations cyclical. Larvae may reach pest proportions.
In June or July, eggs are deposited in clusters of several hundred on leaf undersides. Young larvae are gregarius and consume everything but the vein. Older larvae are less gregarious and can be found in lawns or sides of houses, or feeding singly on their host's foliage. In Oct, they crawl to the ground and often do considerable wandering in search of suitable places to pupate. Pupation takes place in the soil, 3-4" deep.(2)
1-2 generations per year depending on the location(2)
Tuskes, pp 76-79, larva: plate 2, adults: plate 10, map 5 (1)
Covell, p. 47, plate 8--A. senatoria (3)