Image Credit: Mary Z. from NC and Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
Image Credit: Mary Z. from NC
The pink and yellow, bright and furry Rosy Maple prefers maple trees when browsing for comfortable housing and food stores for its caterpillars.
The colors of the Rosy Maple Moth make it easy to spot on a maple tree, unless that tree is starting to fruit. This moth has similar pink and yellow coloring and the aerodynamic shape of the winged maple fruit that famously spins when airborne. The moth's wings range from purple to pink and have a white or yellow band running across them. Its body is yellow and quite furry. This cheery moth is common in the eastern part of the continent. It prefers hardwood forests that include maple and oak trees, but suburban backyards and parks are a popular spot to find them, too.
When ready to breed, females are believed to release a pheromone into the air that males up to half a mile away can detect. While adults are generally found alone unless mating, the larval form caterpillar can be seen grouping together on a single tree. The green caterpillar has long white stripes running head-to-tail. Red patches are near the rear end, while short spikes stud the entire length of the body. Two larger black spikes are at the head. The caterpillar's diet consists of the leaves of maple trees and other hardwoods. A large number of them on a young maple tree can inflict damage to the sapling, rendering them a pest, but mature trees handle the feeding well enough. The caterpillars weave silk cocoons, like other members of the Silkmoth family.
Scientific Name: Dryocampa rubicunda
Other Name(s): Green-striped Maple Worm
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 34mm to 52mm (1.33in to 2.03in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.