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Rosy Maple Moth (Dryocampa rubicunda)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Rosy Maple Moth

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The pink and yellow, bright and furry Rosy Maple prefers maple trees when browsing for comfortable housing and food stores for its caterpillars.

Updated: 06/10/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Hairy insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Saturniidae
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          Genus: Dryocampa
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            Species: rubicunda
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Dryocampa rubicunda
Other Name(s): Green-striped Maple Worm
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 34mm to 52mm (1.33" to 2.04")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: pink, purple, yellow, white
Descriptors: furry, striped, flying
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 34mm (1.3in) and 52mm (2.0in)
Lo: 34mm
Md: 43mm
Hi: 52mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Rosy Maple Moth may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Rosy Maple Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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