Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Lusk's pinemoth
Coloradia luski Barnes & Benjamin, 1926


Family: Saturniidae
Subfamily: Hemileucinae
Identification: Variable. Upperside gray-black patterned with white; hindwings are dark gray with small diffuse spots and pink at the wing bases and inner margins. Male forewings range from pale gray with pink and black markings to almost black. Translucent hindwings range from gray to white with very faint black spots and pink at the wing bases and inner margins.
Wing Span: 2 3/16 - 3 11/16 inches (5.6 - 8.8 cm).
Life History: Females lay batches of eggs at the base of pine needles; the eggs hatch in about 3 weeks. Young caterpillars are gregarious, with 3-5 caterpillars feeding together on the same pine needle. Older caterpillars feed alone. Caterpillars spin loose cocoons under the soil surface in which they pupate and overwinter.
Flight: One brood from June-August.
Caterpillar Hosts: Probably ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and other pines.
Adult Food: Adults do not feed.
Habitat: Pine forests at 6000-7500 feet.
Range: Mountains in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Sonora, Mexico.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
Comments: NULL