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giant leopard moth

giant leopard moth (Hypercompe scribonia) Photo © Mary Kay Rubey

Features and Behaviors

Also known as the eyed tiger moth, the female giant leopard moth is about one and three-eighths inches long while the male can be up to two inches in length. The wingspan is about three inches. The wings are white with blue-black spots. Some of the spots are solid, and some of them are white in the center. The dorsal side of the abdomen is dark blue with orange marks while the underside of the abdomen is white with black spots. The legs are banded in black and white. Larvae are black and covered with black bristles. They have red bands between segments, often seen when the larva rolls into a ball shape. Spiracles are red. Larvae can reach about two to three inches in length.

Adults and larvae are nocturnal. Larval host plants include many deciduous trees and shrubs, wildflowers and some garden plants. One generation is produced per year. This species overwinters as the larval stage. It is active from April through September.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Lepidoptera 

Family: Erebidae

Illinois Status

​common, native

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