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  • Spiny Oak Slug Moth - (Euclea delphinii)

    Spiny Oak Slug Moth - (Euclea delphinii)

    The stinging Spiny Oak Slug is no where near as sweet to handle as its chocolate-colored and minty green adult form.

    Staff Writer (9/18/2017): Spiny Oak Slug Moths can be found or near deciduous forests. Adults are nocturnal, but attracted to lights at night. Their bodies are brown. The forewings have patches of minty green and a dark chocolate patch as well. The hindwings are brown. They fly from late spring to late autumn in some places. Cold weather limits the moth to one generation in the north, but it can produce two generations in the south.

    Caterpillars may be light green, yellow, pink tan, or even a reddish-brown. It is wide and flat unlike the more popular tubular body shape. Rows of yellow or orange stinging spines line the caterpillar from head to rear. Pairs at the head and the rear are longer than those running down the center of the body. These spines contain venom meant to deter predators from eating it. When touched by humans, the spines can embed themselves into skin and cause pain, itching, burning, irritation and redness. If stung, one should use fresh pieces of (Scotch) tape to help pull the spines out of the skin right away, then ice the area and cover it with a baking soda paste. Though it is not considered lethal, people allergic to other insect stings may have a reaction that requires medical attention.

    Caterpillars have are not host-specific despite their name and feed on thick, old leaves growing on oak, willow, cherry, sycamore, chestnut, redbud and other deciduous trees, so they are ubiquitous in their range. They are not known to feed on a plant enough to cause any real damage to it.

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    Details of the:
    Spiny Oak Slug Moth

    Category: Butterfly or Moth
    Common name: Spiny Oak Slug Moth
    Scientific Name: Euclea delphinii

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Lepidoptera
          Family: Limacodidae
           Genus: Euclea
            Species: delphinii

    Size (Adult, Length): 20mm to 30mm (0.79in to 1.18in)

    Identifying Colors: brown, green, black, copper, orange

    Additional Descriptors: flying, furry, mint, spots, spines

    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; Nebraska;New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; British Columbia; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Mexico

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

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