Rosy Maple Moths Emerging, Mating & Laying Eggs
Rosy Maple Moths (Dryocampa rubicunda) are easy to recognize, with their pink and yellow woolly bodies, pink legs and pink antennae. Many adults are emerging from their pupal cases now, having spent the winter underground as pupae. Once metamorphosis is complete, the adult moths lose no time in finding mates and laying eggs, not stopping to even eat. These members of the family Saturniidae are most active during the first third of the night, reducing their body temperature and activity in the morning and afternoon.
Mating takes place at night on the underside of a leaf, and 24 hours later the female lays clusters of 10-30 eggs (a total of 150 – 200 eggs) on the underside of the leaves of the larvae’s host plants, most often maples and oaks. When the eggs hatch, the larvae usually remain on the same tree throughout their larval stage.
Known as Green-striped Mapleworms, the larvae initially feed together, but become independent feeders as they age. Mapleworms change color as they develop. When young, most have black heads and yellow bodies, but with age their heads turns reddish-brown and their bodies assume a shade of green.
In New England there is only one brood per summer; further south, there are multiple broods.
Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to http://www.naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com and click on the yellow “donate” button.
This entry was posted on June 13, 2016 by Mary Holland. It was filed under Green-striped Mapleworms, Insects, June, Larvae, Lepidoptera, Maples, Metamorphosis, Moths, Oaks, Pupae, Uncategorized and was tagged with Dryocampa rubicunda, Saturniidae.