Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Nevada buckmoth
Hemileuca nevadensis Stretch, 1872


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 creamy white with wide black borders and black on the costal edges and wing bases. Each wing has a small black eyespot and some pale yellow streaks in the white portion.
Wing Span: 2 - 2 1/2 inches (5 - 7 cm).
Life History: Adults emerge just after dawn and mating begins in late morning. Females lay eggs in the early afternoon in rings around twigs of the host plants. Eggs overwinter and hatch in the spring. Young caterpillars feed in groups and older caterpillars feed alone. Caterpillars spin loose cocoons in plant litter under the host plants.
Flight: One brood from September-December.
Caterpillar Hosts: A variety of willows (Salix) and cottonwoods (Populus).
Adult Food: Adults do not feed.
Habitat: Riparian zones and areas with high groundwater.
Range: Wisconsin west across southern Canada to central Oregon; south through central Nebraska to New Mexico, northern Arizona, northern Nevada, and inland southern California.
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: Occasional large outbreaks can defoliate poplar and cottonwood stands.
Comments: NULL

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