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Orange-tipped Oakworm (Anisota senatoria)

Orange Tipped Oakworm Moth
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Orangestriped oakworm of the Saturniidae family and Ceratocampinae subfamily is indigenous to parts of North America.  It has a striped orange appearance and feeds primarily on oak plants that therefore result in its name. The orange striped oakworm also has a striking similarity with two other species of its family: the yellowstriped oakworm and Finlayson’s oakworm.

Description and Identification

Caterpillar

Orange Tipped Oakworm Moth Caterpillar
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In the beginning, the larvae are sociable, while in the latter instars, they eventually become secluded. When young, they are orange with a black head. By the final instar, they become black with orange stripes to their sides with spiny horns on their thorax’s second segment having a length of about 5 cm. They mostly feed on the oak plants between August and September.

Scientific Classification


  • Family: Saturniidae
  • Genus: Anisota
  • Scientific Name: Anisota senatoria

Though the caterpillars thrive on oak plants, they are not poisonous and do not cause much damage.

Pupa

Orange Tipped Oakworm Moth Pupa
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The cylindrical-shaped pupa has a dark brown body that appears blunt near their head and tapered towards their body’s rare end. Like other members of their subfamily, the larvae make burrow underground when ready to pupate. That is where the pupal phase takes place.

Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present

Females are larger than their male counterparts with a stout appearance. The difference is also seen in their wing patterns. 

Color and Appearance

Forewings

Females: They have yellowish-orange wings with silver-white spots and black lines intersecting them.

Males: The wings appear reddish-brown with pale lines and white spots.

Hindwings

Anisota senatoria
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Orange-tipped Oakworm
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Females: The hindwings are also of the same color, similar to their forewings, with faint lines passing through them.

Males: The coloration is similar to that of their forewings.

Average Wingspan: 3 – 5 cm

Flight Pattern: Not recorded

Season: August – September

Egg

Orange Tipped Oakworm Moth Eggs
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The orange-tipped oakworm’s eggs are circular, with a yellow color. They are mostly laid in clusters in the oak leaves’ undersides.

Quick Facts

Other NamesOrangestriped oakworm
DistributionEastern North America from Great Plains to the east coast; south Ontario to central parts of Georgia
HabitatDeciduous forests mostly near oak trees
PredatorsBirds, wasps
Lifespan of adultsNot recorded
Host PlantsMostly oak, alongside birch, chestnut, maple, hazel, hickory
Adult DietThey mostly don’t feed

Did You Know

English botanist Sir James Edward Smith described this species for the first time in 1797.

Orange Striped Oakworm
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Orange-tipped Oakworm Moth Picture
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Orange Striped Oakworm Moth
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