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Leopard Moth

Jean-Paul Grandjean, Office National des ForÍts, Bugwood.org
Zeuzera pyrina (Linnaeus) - Larva(e)   The great leopard moth, Hypercompe scribonia (Stoll) (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae), with a 3-inch wingspan, is white with black open-circular spots on the forewings and a metallic blue abdomen with orange markings. Caterpillars grow to about 2 inches. The caterpillars are fuzzy black caterpillars with the underlying body color of red to orange.
Caterpillars can be abundant in the spring time. They can sometimes be seen crossing roads so commonly that motorists notice them. The adult moths are common under lights at night later in the season to mid summer. There may be a second generation later in the year.
The earliest symptoms of leopard moth larvae infestation may be girdled or broken twigs and branches with yellow, wilted foliage. Larval tunnels in the wood and girdling burrows under the bark are visible at the ends of broken stems. Numerous partly broken branches with dead brown foliage hanging in tree crowns are characteristic of heavy infestations. Attacks on large branches and trunks are characterized first by fine, whitish frass in bark crevices and often by sapstained bark. Later, large quantities of frass--consisting mostly of small, cylindrical yellowish to brown excrement pellets--are expelled and can be observed in bark crevices and on the ground underneath an infested tree.
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