Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Chinati sheepmoth
Hemileuca chinatiensis (Tinkham, 1943)

Family: Saturniidae
Subfamily: Hemileucinae
Identification: Abdomen of male is red, abdomen of female has red and black bands. Upperside of wings is white with thick black markings.
Wing Span: 2 9/16 - 3 1/16 inches (6.5 - 7.7 cm).
Life History: Adults emerge in early morning and mate in late morning. Females lay eggs in early afternoon in bands around plant stems. Eggs overwinter and hatch in February or March. Young caterpillars feed together and when older they feed alone. Caterpillars prefer flowers and buds of the host plants. Fully-grown caterpillars wander around and then spin loose cocoons under plant debris or in sandy soil.
Flight: One flight from September-November.
Caterpillar Hosts: Lindheimer mimosa (Mimosa lindheimeri), fragrant mimosa (M. borealis), fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica flabelliformis), littleleaf sumac (R. microphylla), Laredo mahonia (Mahonia trifolialata), Acacia, Condalia, and others.
Adult Food: Adults do not feed.
Habitat: Desert scrub.
Range: Southeastern New Mexico and west Texas.
Conservation: Populations should be monitored to determine conservation status.
NCGR: GU - Unable to assign rank due to lack of available information.
Management Needs: None reported.
Comments: NULL
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