Butterflies & Moths of the Adirondacks:
Rosy Maple Moth (Dryocampa rubicunda)

Moths of the Adirondack Park: Rosy Maple Moth at the Paul Smiths VIC Native Species Butterfly House (15 July 2013).
Moths of the Adirondacks: Rosy Maple Moths live in deciduous woodland. Its preferred host is the maple tree. Rosy Maple Moth at the Paul Smiths VIC Native Species Butterfly House (15 July 2013).

The Rosy Maple Moth (Dryocampa rubicunda) is a silkmoth which may be seen in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York in late May and early June. [1] It is a nocturnal insect. [2] The Rosy Maple Moth is a member of the Saturnid family of moths, usually characterized by their unique feather-like antennae.[3] It is also known (in its caterpillar form) as the Green-striped Mapleworm. [4] The species name (rubicunda) is Latin for "ruddy." [5]

The Rosy Maple Moth is variable in color. [6] It has a woolly body, [7] dull yellow in color, with yellow/cream and pink wings.[8] The yellow color on the top wings is in a vertical band, bordered on both sides by pink. [9] The amount of pink on the wings can vary greatly. Its wingspan is from 1 5/16 to 2 1/16 inches. [10]

Moths of the Adirondack Park: Rosy Maple Moth caterpillar at the Paul Smiths VIC Native Species Butterfly House (18 July 2012).
Moths of the Adirondacks: When fully-grown, the caterpillar of the Rosy Maple Moth has a beige to bright red head and a yellow-green body with dark green, lengthwise lines. Rosy Maple Moth caterpillar at the Paul Smiths VIC Native Species Butterfly House (18 July 2012).

Adult Rosy Maple Moths mate in the late evening. The female lays her eggs at dusk the following day. The eggs take about two weeks to hatch. [11] The caterpillar is green to yellowish green, with black horns and an orange-brown or reddish orange head.[12] Its preferred host is the maple tree, but the caterpillar will reportedly also feed on box elder and oak. [13] The caterpillar can be a serious pest on maple and oaks. [14] Adults do not feed. [15]

The Rosy Maple Moth occurs throughout the eastern US as far west as Texas, Kansas, and Nebraska and as far north as southern Canada. [16] Its habitat is deciduous woodland. [17] [18]

The potential flight period of the Rosy Maple Moth in our area is from late May to late July. [19] Most of the Rosy Maple Moth sightings in the Adirondack Mountains reported to Project Silkmoth have been in late May and early June. [20] In 2012, the Rosy Maple Moth was observed in the Paul Smiths VIC Butterfly House in early and mid-June. Rosy Maple Moth caterpillars were raised in the Butterfly House and could be seen in a glass-enclosed wooden cabinet in July and August. [21]


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