New York Natural Heritage Program
Pine Devil
Citheronia sepulcralis Grote and Robinson, 1865

Identifying Characteristics [-]
The Pine Devil is a robust moth with dull, brownish-violet forewings. On the forewings, the basal spot is rose and small, the postmedial line is blackish and indistinct, and the reniform spot is blackish. The hind wings have a rose base, and the median line and discal spot are blackish. The veins on the forewings and hind wings have a faint rose outline. The wingspan is approximately 70-100 mm (Covell 1984). Eggs are translucent, and embryos developing inside are visible. Larvae are brown or grayish, with small black and brown markings. They have long dorsal "horns" on thoracic segments and shorter spines on abdominal segments. Larvae can reach a maximum of 110 mm (Tuskes et al. 1996). No other caterpillars on pines look like this species (Maier et al. 2004). Pupae are smooth and elongate (Tuskes et al. 1996).

Behavior [-]
In the Northeast, the Pine Devil usually has one annual generation. Adults emerge from the pupal stage on June or July mornings. Males are active the evening after they emerge. Females release pheromones from the late evening until the early morning (10 pm - 2 am). Mated pairs stay together until the following night, when the female begins laying her eggs. Eggs are laid in groups of 1-3 at the base of pine needles. Eggs hatch in 7-10 days. Larvae undergo five stages (instars) and feed singly during all stages. Pupae overwinter in a cavity underground (Tuskes et al. 1996).

Diet [-]
Larvae feed on pines (Pinus spp.) including pitch pine (P. rigida), eastern white pine (P. strobus), and Caribbean pine (P. caribaea) (Ferguson 1971; Covell 1984).
Pine Devil Images
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The Best Time to See
The best time to see the Pine Devil is during its flight season. In the Northeast, before it became extirpated from the area, adults were captured in early-mid July (NatureServe 2010). In the Mid-Atlantic states and Appalachia, adults have been captured from mid-June to late July (Tuskes et al. 1996). In Pennsylvania, the moths seem to mostly fly in June. In southern New Jersey and probably the Delaware-Maryland-Virginia region, there is a bimodal first brood with a peak in very late May to mid-June, depending on the spring, and another peak approximately 3-4 weeks after the first (NatureServe 2010).
The time of year you would expect to find Pine Devil reproducing (green shading) in New York.