New York Natural Heritage Program
Stinging Rose Caterpillar Moth
Parasa indetermina (Boisduval, 1832)
Insects

Identifying Characteristics [-]
Stinging rose caterpillar moth is approximately 2.3 to 3 cm. The forewing is brown with a large green patch and rounded outer edge. The terminal border has a dark patch in the light brown outer margin. The yellowish hindwing has a narrow brown border (Covell 1984). Eggs are laid along stems or on leaves. Larvae are less than one inch in length and are brilliantly colored with blue, orange, and white stripes. Six pairs of large tubercles are along the dorsal surface. These tubercles are covered with hollow spines with detachable tips. The tips contain toxins that can irritate skin. There is a additional row of spines along the sides of the body (Bess 2005).

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification [-]
Adult or larva.

Diet [-]
Larvae have been documented to feed on: apple, dogwood, hickory, maples, oaks, poplars, and rose bushes.
Stinging Rose Caterpillar Moth Images
click to enlarge
The Best Time to See
Throughout most of this species range, adults can be found from June to July. Larvae feed throughout the summer and into the fall (Bess 2005).
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Present Active
The time of year you would expect to find Stinging Rose Caterpillar Moth present (blue shading) and active (orange shading) in New York.
Similar Species
  • Smaller Parasa (Parasa chloris)
    Stinging rose caterpillar moth is larger than smaller Parasa. In addition, the green patch located on the forewing is larger on the stinging rose caterpillar moth.