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Rosy Maple Moths Emerging

6-9-14 rosy maple moth 161This is the time of year when moths rule the nights. Many moths in the silkmoth family, Saturniidae, emerge in June, including giant silkmoths such as Luna Moths and Cecropia Moths. A smaller member of this family also appears at this time of year. While the 1 to 2-inch Rosy Maple Moth (Dryocampa rubicunda) wingspan doesn’t come close to many of the giant silkmoths’ 5 to 6-inch wingspan, its pink and white or yellow coloring is stunning. Adults emerge mid-May through mid-July in the late afternoon, and they mate in the late evening. Females begin laying eggs at dusk the next day in groups of 10-30 on leaves of the host plants (Red, Sugar and Silver Maples, as well as Box-elder and some oak trees). The eggs hatch in about 2 weeks and the larvae are referred to as Green-striped Mapleworms. They occasionally do considerable damage to their host trees when their population soars. In New England there is only one brood per summer, with the larvae pupating and overwintering underground.

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6 responses

  1. What color! Mother Nature’s artistry at work!

    June 9, 2014 at 1:01 pm

  2. Dan Reidy 6th grade teacher

    For years my family and I have wondered what the ‘official’ name of these moths are. As a result, for years we’ve referred to them as strawberry-banana moths!

    June 9, 2014 at 4:23 pm

  3. dellwvt

    What a fuzzy beauty! And look at its antennae, always a wonder to observe! I’ve been amazed to see these moths in the past, so I’m glad to know their name.

    June 9, 2014 at 4:42 pm

  4. Jean Harrison

    I always enjoy seeing these beautiful moths. I think I’ll start calling them strawberry-banana moths.
    The way you listed box-elder makes it sound as though it’s different from maples. It’s in the maple genus, Acer.

    June 9, 2014 at 7:33 pm

  5. Reminds me of lemon-raspberry sherbet!

    June 9, 2014 at 7:47 pm

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