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Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth (Empyreuma pugione)

The spotted oleander caterpillar moth is a member of the family of Erebidae moths found in the West Indies.

Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth


Scientific Classification

  • Family: Erebidae
  • Genus: Empyreuma
  • Scientific Name: Empyreuma pugione

Description and Identification


The caterpillar is light orange and covered in setae. There are several rows of silver spots along its back.

Spotted Oleander Caterpillar



It is dark reddish-brown and 16mm long. The cocoon is made up of larval hair and silk threads.

Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present. The males have longer antennae.

Color and Appearance

Forewings: When the wings are open, they are light chocolate brown with a thin border of deeper brown. When the wings are closed, they are similarly brown.

Hindwings: When the wings are open, a carmine-red color is observed, covered with a fringe border of brown. When the wings are closed, the colors remain.

Average wingspan: 43–48 mm

Flight pattern: Diurnal

Season:  Spring

Empyreuma pugione



They start pearly-white becoming yellow as they come closer to hatching. Spherical in shape, these eggs are 1mm in diameter.

Quick Facts

DistributionNative: The West Indies Invasive: United States, especially Florida
HabitatCoastal areas
Lifespan of Adults5 days
Host PlantsOleander
Adult DietDoes not feed

Did You Know

  • Swedish taxonomist Carl Linnaeus first described this species in 1767.
Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth Picture


Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth Image


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