Home / Saturniidae Moth (Saturniidae) / Spiny Oakworm Moth (Anisota stigma)

Spiny Oakworm Moth (Anisota stigma)

The spiny oakworm moth is a member of the family of saturniid moths found in Canada and the United States. They are named because of the presence of spines on the caterpillars.

Spiny Oakworm Moth


Scientific Classification

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

Description and Identification


The larva is brown, with an orange-brown head. As its name suggests, their body is covered with two black spines, protruding from either side of the black stripe running down their backs. There are especially long spines close to the head, and their entire body is covered with white dots.

Spiny Oakworm Moth Caterpillar



They pupate underground in the winter.

Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present. The males are more reddish than the females.

Color and Appearance

Forewing: When the wings are opened, two segments are observed – an upper orange-brown part and a lower purple-pink part. A purple line separates them. There are two white spots present on them while they are also covered with black freckles. When the wings are closed, the spots remain visible.

Hindwing: When the wings are opened, they are similar in color to the forewings. When the wings are closed, black freckles can be seen on the lower ends.

Average wingspan: 4-7 cm

Flight pattern: Consistent

Season: Summer

Anisota stigma



Females lay the eggs in clusters of 5-20, which take 2 weeks to hatch.

Spiny Oakworm Moth Eggs


Quick Facts

DistributionFlorida, Massachusetts, southern Ontario, west to Minnesota, Kansas, and Texas
HabitatDeciduous woods
Lifespan of AdultsAbout a month
Host PlantsPrimarily oak, but also basswood and hazel
Adult DietDoes not feed

Did You Know

  • Danish zoologist Johan Christian Fabricius first described this species in 1775.
Spiny Oakworm Moth Image


Spiny Oakworm Moth Picture


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