New York Natural Heritage Program
Bird Dropping Moth
Cerma cora Hübner, 1818
Insects

General Description [-]
This species is extremely distinctive in the adult stage. See illustrations such as Rockburne and LaFontaine (1976) and Rings et al. (1992). The larva is mottled, rather purplish, with sparse long hair.

Identifying Characteristics [-]
This is a very easily recognized species. However, with no published illustrations, larvae or photographs of larvae, should be identified by experts familiar with it, such as Tim McCabe (New York State Museum), David Wagner (University of Connecticut), or Dale Schweitzer (The Nature Conservancy / NatureServe).

Characters Most Useful for Identification [-]
This moth is unmistakable. See any published illustration of it, such as Rockburne and Lafontaine (1976), Rings et al. (1992) and most of those on the internet. The larvae is equally distinctive, but no published illustrations are known.

Behavior [-]
The adults are nocturnal and are collected at lights.

Diet [-]
The larvae feed on young leaves of Fire Cherry (also known as Pin Cherry - Prunus pensylvanica), in New York. While they do not accept the common wild Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), it is possible that other species of native cherries, plums, or hawthorns (Crataegus spp.) are also used.
Bird Dropping Moth Images
click to enlarge
The Best Time to See
The flight season could vary from year to year, but generally early June is the adult peak and most larvae probably finish by early July in the Albany Pine Bush.
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Reproducing Larvae present and active Pupae or prepupae present
The time of year you would expect to find Bird Dropping Moth reproducing (blue shading), larvae present and active (green shading) and pupae or prepupae present (orange shading) in New York.