Home / Noctuid Moths (Noctuidae) / Sycamore Moth (Acronicta aceris)

Sycamore Moth (Acronicta aceris)

The sycamore moth is a member of the family of owlet moths. Famed Swedish zoologist Carl Linneaus first described this species in the 10th edition of his book Systema Naturae in 1758.

Sycamore Moth


Scientific Classification

  • Family: Noctuidae
  • Genus: Acronicta
  • Scientific Name: Acronicta aceris

Description and Identification


The larva is brightly colored, covered with orange-yellow hairs and a series of white spots along its back bordered in purple. A fully grown caterpillar is around 4 cm long.

Sycamore Moth Caterpillar



After maturing, the caterpillars leave their host plant to find a location to pupate. They overwinter as a pupa.

Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present. The hindwing is white in males, while it is greyish in females.

Color and Appearance

Forewing: When the wings are opened, they are pale to dark grey in color. There is a series of indistinct markings on their wings, with the only distinct marking being a thin black basal line. When the wins are closed, the colors and patterns remain the same.

Hindwing: When the wings are opened, they are white (males) or grey (females), with dark streaks at the margin. When the wings are closed, the colors and patterns are not visible.

Average wingspan: 4-4.5 cm

Flight pattern: Erratic

Season: June to August

Acronicta aceris



Female moths lay the eggs on the leaves of the host plant.

Sycamore Moth Eggs


Quick Facts

DistributionEurope, from central England south to Morocco; Near East and the Middle East to western Asia.
HabitatGardens, parks, scrubs, and woodlands
Lifespan of AdultsNot recorded
Host PlantsPrimarily maples and also on common horse-chestnut, large-leaved lime, mulberry, and pedunculate oak.
PredatorsNot recorded
Adult DietSugar

Did You Know

  • There are three known sub-species of these moths, each found in different parts of the world – A. a. aceris (Europe), A. a. taurica (Cyprus), and A. a. judaea (Levant).
Sycamore Moth Image


Sycamore Moth Picture


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