Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

New England buckmoth
Hemileuca lucina Hy. Edwards, 1887

Family: Saturniidae
Subfamily: Hemileucinae
Identification: Females are larger than males. Male abdomen is black with a red tip, female abdomen is black. Upperside of wings is gray with narrow black borders, black at the wing bases, and wide translucent white bands.
Wing Span: 1 3/4 - 2 3/8 inches (4.5 - 6 cm).
Life History: Adults emerge in the early morning and mate in the early afternoon. Females lay eggs circling a main stem that will expose the eggs to sun. Eggs overwinter and hatch in the spring. Young caterpillars feed in clusters and older ones feed alone. Fully-grown caterpillars wander and make loose cocoons in leaf litter or a few inches underground in soft soil.
Flight: One brood from September-October.
Caterpillar Hosts: Oaks (Quercus), wild black cherry (Prunus serotina), willows (Salix), gray birch (Betula populifolia), and blueberry (Vaccinium).
Adult Food: Adults do not feed.
Habitat: Wet meadows and open fields.
Range: Southern Maine, New Hampshire, southeastern Vermont, and Massachusetts.
Conservation: Populations should be inventoried and 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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