Giant Leopard Moth (Hypercompe scribonia)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Giant Leopard Moth.
Updated: 10/4/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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.