Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Pandora pinemoth
Coloradia pandora Blake, 1863

Family: Saturniidae
Subfamily: Hemileucinae
Identification: Upperside white. Hindwing is white with a diffuse dark median line, a black spot near the center, and varying amounts of pink at the wing base and along the inner margin.
Wing Span: 3 1/4 - 3 7/8 inches (8.2 - 9.8 cm).
Life History: Females deposit eggs in groups on pine needles or on the tree trunk; eggs hatch within 3-7 weeks. Young caterpillars are gregarious, with 3-5 caterpillars feeding together on the same pine needle. Older caterpillars feed alone. Two years are required to complete development. Second- or third-stage caterpillars overwinter the first year in tight clusters, resume feeding in the spring, pupate in June or July, and spend the second winter in underground pupation chambers lined with silk and plant litter. Some can remain in the pupal stage for up to 5 years before emerging as adults.
Flight: One flight from July-September.
Caterpillar Hosts: Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), Jeffrey pine (P. jeffreyi), lodgepole pine (P. contorta), sugar pine (P. lambertiana), pinyon pine (P. edulis), and Coulter pine (P. coulteri).
Adult Food: Adults do not feed.
Habitat: Coniferous forest.
Range: Oregon south through California; the Spring Mountains of western Nevada; northern Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, the Black Hills of South Dakota, and the Nebraska National Forest, Nebraska. Comments: Subspecies davisi feeds on pinyon pine, has a late flight, and may be a separate species.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: Caterpillars occasionally become pests in pine forests.
Comments: NULL
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