Insect Identification
Insect Identification

Giant Leopard Moth - (Ecpantheria scribonia)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 6/18/2015

The black and white wings of the Giant Leopard Moth hide a body that also sports a punch of bright red.

This white tiger moth has distinct black rings as well as black spots along its wings. They can grow to enormous sizes compared to other moths, fitting comfortably in the palm of an adult's hand. Their bodies are black and reddish-orange.

As a defense against predators, they release a foul-tasting, yellow fluid when they are disturbed. Like most moths, they are nocturnal and are attracted to lights at night. Their typical habitats are usually woodland edges, fields or meadows.

The caterpillar of the Giant Leopard Moth is black and covered in spiky hairs. This hairy type of caterpillar is called a 'woollybear'. It has red rings around it that are most visible when it coils up. It eats the leaves off shrubs, trees and other woody-stemmed plants.

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Category: Butterfly or Moth
Common name: Giant Leopard Moth
Scientific Name: Ecpantheria scribonia

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
     Order: Lepidoptera
      Family: Arctiidae
       Genus: Ecpantheria
        Species: scribonia

Adult Size (Length): 57mm to 91mm (2.24in to 3.58in)

Identifying Colors: black; white; orange; red

Additional Descriptors: flying, spotted

North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Ontario; Quebec

* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.