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Leopard Moth(Zeuzera pyrina)

Leopard Moth

Leopard moth of the Cossidae family is indigenous to Europe, northern Africa, and Asia. Its introduction in the United States occurred a little before 1879, particularly in the Pennsylvania, Maine, and Texas regions.

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Cossidae
  • Genus: Zeuzera
  • Scientific Name: Zeuzera pyrina

Description and Identification


Leopard Moth Caterpillar
Leopard Moth Larvae

The larva, white and fleshy, having black spots all over its body grows to about 5cm. It also has a dark-colored head capsule. It takes about 2 – 3 years to develop before it grows to a pupa.


Leopard Moth Cocoon

The pupa is dark brown, with 3 -4 cm length, also having a prominent protrusion on its head.

Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present

Color and Appearance: When opened, the forewings are white with several long, and narrow black spots. The hind wings are translucent, barring the anal region that has tiny black spots. When closed, the color is similar, a white background marked with numerous black spots.

Their other characteristic features include a white head, black forehead, white and furry thorax marked with six black spots, and a black hairy abdomen. The females are larger than their male counterparts, also having a thinner antenna.

Wingspan: 3.5 – 6 cm

Zeuzera pyrina
Wood Leopard Moth

Flight Pattern: Erratic

Season: June – September


Leopard Moth Eggs

Oval in shape, with a yellowish-orange coloration, the eggs are about 0.15 cm long.

Quick Facts

Other NamesWood leopard moth
DistributionEurope (except Ireland) , northern Africa (Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Algeria), Asia (Iran, Israel, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Korea, Turkey, India, Taiwan, Lebanon, Japan, Syria), northeastern United States (Texas, Maine, Pennsylvania )
HabitatGardens, orchards, woodland
PredatorsNot recorded
Lifespan of adults8 – 10 days
Host plantsAcer, Aesculus, Amelanchier, Broussonetia, Carya, Castanea, Celtis, Ceratonia, Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Cydonia, Fagus, Fraxinus, Ilex, Juglans, Ligustrum, Liquidambar, Lonicera, Malus, Olea, Punica, Prunus, Quercus, Rhododendron, Ribes, Robinia, Rubus, Salix, Syringa, Tilia, Ulmus, Viburnum
Adult dietsNectar of the host plants

Did You Know

  • Their white wings with black spots resemble a snow leopard’s coat pattern, hence their name.
  • Two of its subspecies include Zeuzera pyrina biebingeri and Zeuzera pyrina pyrina.
Leopard Moth Images
Leopard Moth Picture
Leopard Moth Photo

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