Anisota virginiensis

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Anisota virginiensis
- 7723 – Anisota virginiensis – Pink-striped Oakworm Moth.jpg

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Saturniidae
Genus: Anisota
Species: A. virginiensis
Binomial name
Anisota virginiensis
(Drury, 1773)
  • Phalaena virginiensis Drury, 1773
  • Phalaena pellucida Smith, 1797
  • Anisota sinulis Riotte, 1970
  • Anisota virginiensis pellucida (Smith, 1797) [1]
  • Anisota virginiensis discolor Ferguson, 1971 [1]

Anisota virginiensis, the Pink-Striped Oakworm Moth, is a species of silk moth of the family Saturniidae.


The female's wings are purplish red with ochre-yellow. They have thin scales and are almost transparent. The male's wings are purplish brown with a large transparent space in the middle.[2] The female is larger than the male. The wing span is 4.2 to 6.6 centimeters.


The moth can be found across Canada from Nova Scotia to southeastern Manitoba,[3] and in the United States. It lives in deciduous woodlands and suburbs.[4]


The males attract females by buzzing like a bee. Mating occurs during the morning.[3] It is a rapid process. The male and female stay together for the rest of the day and then the female finds a place to lay eggs, usually under oak leaves.[3]

The caterpillars are gray or greenish with dull brownish yellow or rosy stripes. There are scales on each segment and two long spines on the mesothorax.[2] The caterpillars pupate for a short time.[3] They feed on the foliage of oak trees, maples, birches, and hazels. The caterpillar overwinters in the soil as a pupa. Caterpillars that are newly hatched or are in the middle of growing feed in groups while those that are mature or nearly so feed separately.[5] The caterpillar is about an eighth of an inch long. The head is large in proportion to the body. The inside of the mouth is yellow. The legs are semi-translucent.[6]


Conservation regimes are not required for this species.[4] It is considered a pest of forests because it defoliates trees.[5] Outbreaks can be treated with an arsenical spray.[7]

Life cycle gallery[edit]


  1. ^ a b Tuskes, Paul M.; P. Tuttle, James; Collins, Michael M. (1996). The wild silk moths of North America: a natural history of the Saturniidae of the United States and Canada. Cornell University Press. p. 250. 
  2. ^ a b Henry Comstock, John; Botsford Comstock, Anna (1899). A manual for the study of insects. Comstock Pub. Co. p. 348. 
  3. ^ a b c d M. Tuskes, Paul; P. Tuttle, James; M. Collins, Michael (1996). The wild silk moths of North America: a natural history of the Saturniidae of the United States and Canada. Cornell University Press. pp. 74–75. ISBN 978-0-8014-3130-2. 
  4. ^ a b "Pink-striped oakworm moth Anisota virginiensis (Drury, 1773)". Butterflies and Moths of North America. Retrieved 2010-05-29. 
  5. ^ a b L. Hyche, L. "Pinkstriped Oakworm Anisota virginiensis (Drury) (Saturniidae)". Auburn University. Retrieved 2010-05-29. 
  6. ^ Entomological Society of Ontario; Ontario. Dept. of Agriculture; Ontario. Legislative Assembly (1908). Annual report, Volumes 38-41. The Society. p. 74. 
  7. ^ Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station (1914). Bulletin on Forestry, Volume 1, Issues 156-435. p. 32.