New York Natural Heritage Program
Regal Moth
Citheronia regalis (Fabricius, 1793)
Insects

Identifying Characteristics [-]
This is a large moth, with a wingspan of 9.5-15.5 cm (Covell 1984). The forewings are gray, with yellow spots and orange veins. The thorax is orange with yellow lateral stripes (Beadle and Leckie 2012). The caterpillars are 12.5 to 14 cm long when fully grown. They can vary in color, but usually are blue-green and have an orange head (Hall 2014). Caterpillars have orange scoli with black tips on the second and third thoracic segments, and four short, black scoli on each abdominal segment.

Characters Most Useful for Identification [-]
Size and coloration of both adults and larvae.

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

Diet [-]
Larvae feed on deciduous trees, specifically hickories, ash, butternut, sycamore, walnut, persimmon, and sumac (Covell 1984, Beadle and Leckie 2012).
Regal Moth Images
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The Best Time to See
Adult regal moths emerge during summer evenings and mate the following evening (Hall 2014). Females then begin laying eggs at dusk on the third day. Eggs hatch in 6 to 10 days, and larvae can be found through late summer. Larvae burrow into soil and remain there as pupae to overwinter before emerging from the soil as an adult the next summer. Larvae are often spotted when they come down from their host trees to find a spot to burrow into the soil.
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Present Active Reproducing Larvae present and active Eggs present outside adult Pupae or prepupae present
The time of year you would expect to find Regal Moth present (red shading), active (blue shading), reproducing (green shading), larvae present and active (green shading), eggs present outside adult (orange shading) and pupae or prepupae present (purple shading) in New York.