Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Burns' buckmoth
Hemileuca burnsi J.H. Watson, 1910

Family: Saturniidae
Subfamily: Hemileucinae
Identification: Abdomen is yellowish and may have red or black bands. Upperside of wings is off-white or cream colored; forewing has black zigzag submarginal and submedian bands, and a large black-outlined spot. Hindwing of female has a black zigzag submarginal band; band may be weak or absent in the male.
Wing Span: 2 1/16 - 2 11/16 inches (5.3 - 6.9 cm).
Life History: Females lay clumps of eggs on host plants, but the eggs do not completely encircle the twigs. Eggs overwinter and hatch in February or March. Young caterpillars feed in groups and when they are older they feed alone. Fully-grown caterpillars wander around and then pupate in a loose cocoon under plant debris or in loose sandy soil.
Flight: One brood from August-November.
Caterpillar Hosts: Longspine horsebrush (Tetradymia axillaris), littleleaf horsebrush (T. glabrata), Fremont indigo bush (Dalea fremontii), and desert almond (Prunus fasciculata).
Adult Food: Adults do not feed.
Habitat: High desert, alluvial fans, and arroyos.
Range: Mojave Desert of California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah, and northwestern Arizona.
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
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