Black Waved Flannel Moth (Megalopyge crispata)
The black waved flannel moth is a member of the family of flannel moths. They are found in the United States, along the east coast all the way inland towards Oklahoma. The wavy black lines gracing its forewings have resulted in its name.
Description and Identification
The larva is covered with curly hairs, varying in color from orange-brown to white. Underneath these hairs, the caterpillar’s body varies in color: brown, gray, rusty orange, white, or yellow. The longer bristles help to hide stinging setae which discourages predators.
Once the larvae reach their final instar, they undergo pupation.
Sexual Dimorphism: Present. The males have feathery, yellow antennae with strong markings, while the females have white, thin antennae with subtle markings. The female moths even have a
Color and Appearance
When the wings are opened, they are shaded brown, and the forewing has several wavy black lines on its edge, while the hindwings are unmarked. When the wings are closed, the shading remains prominently visible.
The body is small and creamy white.
Average wingspan: 2.5-4 cm
Flight pattern: Erratic
Season: May to October
The eggs are laid either on the soil or close to the host plant.
|Other names||Crinkled flannel moth, white flannel moth|
|Distribution||New Hampshire to Florida, west to Missouri and Louisiana|
|Lifespan of Adults||Not recorded|
|Host Plants||Alder, apple, bayberry, birch, blackberry, oaks, poplars, sassafras, willows, and Prunus species.|
|Adult Diet||Does not feed|
Did You Know
- American entomologist Alpheus Spring Packard Jr first described this moth in 1864.