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Insects and other arthropods

Rosy maple moth

English
Dryocampa rubicunda

Tabs group

Description

These pretty pink and yellow moths are easily recognizable by their very hairy bodies. The colours vary, however, and there are also pale, almost white, forms. The males are smaller than the females, which have a wingspan of about 5.5 cm. The sexes can also be differentiated by their antennae: feathery on the males, and thinner on the females.

The caterpillars are green with lengthwise stripes. They have two black horns that look like antennae near their cherry red heads. They are up to 5.5 cm long.

Life cycle

The moths mate the day they emerge, and the females lay from 150 to 200 pale yellow eggs in clusters of 10 to 30, on the underside of leaves of host trees. The eggs hatch after about two weeks. At first, the gregarious caterpillars feed in groups, but they become solitary in the last larval stage. The mature caterpillars burrow into the soil to pupate. Depending on the latitude and time of year, the adult may then appear or the insect may overwinter as a pupa and then emerge as an adult the following spring.

This species produces two or three generations per year in the southern part of its range, and only one farther north.

Geographic distribution

They are found in eastern North America. In Canada, they occur from Nova Scotia as far as west as Ontario.

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