Sheep moth

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Sheep Moth
Hemileuca eglanterina - California.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Clade: Euarthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Saturniidae
Genus: Hemileuca
Species: H. eglanterina
Binomial name
Hemileuca eglanterina
Boisduval, 1852

The sheep moth, or common sheep moth (Hemileuca eglanterina), is a member of the family Saturniidae of silk moths and is native to western North America. In California, its range is west of the Sierran crest[1] and the mountains of Southern California, ranging near to the coast.[2] The moth is dayflying and appears in summer.[1] It feeds on plants of three genera: Ceanothus, Rhamnus (including coffeeberry), and Rosa.[1][2] Nuttall's sheep moth and one other species are similar, occurring in sagebrush areas east of the Sierra Nevada.[1]

The sheep moth has a 5.5-8.5 centimeter wingspan and a relatively slender body and (FW) wings that pink with a yellow streak in the middle and (HW) yellowish with variable black markings with an all-black form near Mount Shasta.[1] The larva are black with branched yellowish spines that become orange in later development and an orange-brown head.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d e f Jerry A. Powell, Charles L. Hogue (1981). California Insects. University of California Press. p. 230. ISBN 9780520037823. 
  2. ^ a b Michael L. Charters (May 18, 2009). "Common sheep moth". Butterflies and Moths of Southern California. Sierra Madre, California. Retrieved February 25, 2010.