Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Melanchroia chephise (Cramer)
Orig. Comb: Phalaena chephise Cramer, 1782
genus listed as 'Melanochroia
' in Hodges et al 1983(2)
but corrected to Melanchroia
in Parsons et al 1999.
The adult's white-tipped black wings are distinctive.
Florida and southern Great Plains, south to Paraguay / W. Indies - Map
Has strayed to Utah(5)
, Arizona, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, and Illinois, primarily in 2007 which was a phenomenal year for the moth. (Several of these are new state records.)
Reaches its greatest abundance along the coastal plains of Texas and Florida.
Heppner (2003) reported January to December for Florida to Texas. (1)
Strays reported September to December in other states. (3)
Heppner (2003) listed several host plants, mostly in the Euphorbiaceae (1)
Breynia nivosa (snow bush)
Euphorbia marginata (snow on the mountain)
Phyllanthus acidus (Tahitian gooseberry tree)
P. angustifolius (foliage flower)
Amaranthus tricolor (Joseph's-coat)
Casimiroa edulis (white sapote)
Click on an image to view the whole life cycle in more detail:
irruptive sp., see 2007 Outbreak in Oklahoma
compiled by John Fisher
also see BG records from AR, MO, and WI(!) for 2016.
Roy O. Kendall collected a long series of this moth in Bexar County (San Antonio) in 1971 and 1981. (6)
, A.R., 1870. Transactions of the American Entomological Society
, 3: 186
Stoll, . in Cramer, Uitl. Kapellen
; plate 381, fig. E.
Wickwire, H.A. 1932. Notes on the larval stages of Melanchroia chephise. Entomological News 43: 16-17.
- Mike Quinn, 2009
Snowbush Caterpillar - Spanworm
- Doug Caldwell, University of Florida