Giant leopard moth

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Giant Leopard Moth
Giant leopard moth hypercompe scribonia 3.jpg

Secure (NatureServe)[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Arctiidae
Tribe: Arctiini
Genus: Hypercompe
Species: H. scribonia
Binomial name
Hypercompe scribonia
(Stoll, 1790)
  • H. s. scribonia (Stoll, 1790)
  • H. s. denudata (Slosson, 1888)
  • Bombyx chryseis
    Olivier, 1790
  • Phalaena scribonia
    Stoll, 1790
  • Phalaena oculatissima
    J.E. Smith, 1797 (unjustified emendation)
  • Bombyx cunegunda
    Palisot de Beauvois, 1824
  • Ecpantheria confluens
    Oberthür, 1881
  • Ecpantheria denudata
    Slosson, 1888
  • Ecpantheria scribonia

The giant leopard moth or eyed tiger moth (Hypercompe scribonia) is a moth of the family Arctiidae. It is distributed throughout southern Ontario, and southern and eastern United States from New England to Mexico. [2] The obsolete name Ecpantheria scribonia is still occasionally encountered.

This species has a wingspan of 76 mm (3 in). The wings of this moth are bright white with a pattern of neat black blotches, some solid and some hollow. The abdomen is dark blue with orange markings, the male has a narrow yellow line on the sides. Its legs have black and white bands. Adult moths are strictly nocturnal and do not generally fly before nightfall.[3]

The caterpillar is of the "Woolly Bear" kind, with a thick coat of black bristles (setae) and red or orange colored bands between its segments, which become conspicuous when the caterpillar rolls into a ball for defense. Like the banded wooly bear, its hairs are not urticant, and do not typically cause irritation.

Recorded food plants[edit]

The caterpillar eats a variety of broad-leaf plants such as broadleaf plantains, dandelions and violets:



  1. ^ Poole, Robert W.; Patricia Gentili (1996). "Hypercompe scribonia". NatureServe. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Hypercompe scribonia, Butterflies and moths of North America
  3. ^ Fullard, James H. & Napoleone, Nadia (2001). Diel flight periodicity and the evolution of auditory defences in the Macrolepidoptera. Animal Behaviour 62(2): 349–368. doi:10.1006/anbe.2001.1753 PDF fulltext

External links[edit]