Rosy Maple Moth

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Photo by Brenda Dziedzic

Dryocampa rubicunda (dry-oh-camp-ah • roo-bih-cun-da)

Family: Saturniidae (Silk Moths) (sat-uhr-NYE-ah-dee)

Flight period: North May–August / South April–September

Wingspan: 1-5/16 to 2-1/16 inches


Photo by Hillstar Editions L.C.


Dorsal/upperside. Photo by Brenda Dziedzic

The dorsal/upperside of the body and wings can vary from bright yellow to cream to white. Bright pink usually covers all the wing area, except for the median of the forewing. The hindwing has a wide outer border that is bright pink.

Ventral/underside.Photo by Brenda Dziedzic

The ventral/underside of the body and wings can vary from bright yellow to cream to white. The wings have pale pink areas. The abdomen has pink stripes and the legs are pink. When handled, they play dead.

Host / Larval Food Plants

Red Maple — Acer rubrum

Silver Maple — Acer saccharinum

Sugar Maple — Acer saccharum

Turkey Oak — Quercus laevis

Silver Maple Acer saccharinum. Photo by Brenda Dziedzic

Life Cycle

Photo by Brenda Dziedzic

Rosy Maple Moths have 1 brood in the north and 2 to 3 broods in the south each year. The eggs are yellow and laid on the leaves of the host plant.

Photo by Brenda Dziedzic

An egg is between 1/32 and 1/16 inch wide. It takes about 10 to 15 days for the egg to hatch. The development of the caterpillar is visible through the egg.

Photo by Brenda Dziedzic

When the caterpillar hatches, it is about 3/32 inch long.


Photos by Brenda Dziedzic

The young caterpillars feed in groups.

Photo by Brenda Dziedzic

In later instars, they become solitary. The caterpillar is about 2 inches long in the last instar.


Photo by Brenda Dziedzic

The caterpillar burrows into the ground to pupate. It does not spin a cocoon. The last brood overwinters in the ground and emerges the following year.

Adult Food

The adults do not feed because they have no proboscises. For that reason, they have short lifespans.

More from Raising Butterflies in the Garden:

Cover courtesy of Firefly Books

This excerpt is taken from Raising Butterflies in the Garden by butterfly expert Brenda Dziedzic, with the permission of Firefly Books Ltd.

Mother Earth Gardener
Mother Earth Gardener
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