Home / Saturniidae Moth (Saturniidae) / Yellow Striped Oakworm Moth (Anisota peigleri)

Yellow Striped Oakworm Moth (Anisota peigleri)

Yellow Striped Oakworm
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Yellow striped oakworm moth of the Saturniidae family has a wide range, covering a major part of the United States. The larvae of this species have yellow stripes running down their body that may have resulted in their name.

Description and Identification

Caterpillar

Yellow Striped Oakworm Caterpillar
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The newly emerged larvae appear yellow with black head and two horns rising from its thorax’s second segment. During the initial stage, they remain together and primarily consume the leaf’s soft parts skeletonizing it completely. They gradually shed their skin and head capsule entering the second stage, where they have a yellow coloration. In their third and fourth phase, they turn black with stripes of yellow running through their body. They even develop spiny projections on their back.

Scientific Classification


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

Pupa

Yellow Striped Oakworm Pupa
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The female pupae appear more significant than the males, mostly remaining in the soil to a depth of 2 to 3 inches.

Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present

Like the pupa, the adult female moths are also bigger than their male counterparts.

Color and Appearance

Males –

Forewings: When opened, it has a dark reddish-brown coloration, with small and large white spots and translucent patches. When closed, the color and pattern remain the same, with the two white dots being visible.

Hindwings: When opened and closed, they have a reddish-brown appearance sans any markings.

Yellow Striped Oakworm Moth
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Females –

Forewings: When opened, they are reddish-orange withwhite spots, dark lines, and several speckles. When closed, the color remains unchanged, with fewer patterns visible.

Hindwings: When opened, the hindwings appear paler with indistinct lines. When closed, the color is the same.

Average Wingspan: 4.3 -6.9 cm

Flight Pattern: Consistent

Season: Mid August – Early September

Egg

Yellow Striped Oakworm Eggs
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They are spherical, orange-yellow in color, growing to a diameter of 1 mm.

Quick Facts

DistributionSoutheastern Kentucky, eastern Tennessee, southwestern Virginia, western parts of North and south Carolina, central Georgia, north-central Florida
HabitatDeciduous forests
PredatorsJumping spiders, wasps, birds, mice, moles
Lifespan of AdultsNot recorded
Host PlantsDifferent oak species
Diet Adults don’t feed

Did You Know

  • Jules C. E. Riotte described them first in the year 1975.
  • In Florida, this moth species caused significant damage by defoliating water oak, shumard oak, and laurel oak species between 1996 and 2001.
  • Though the larva in the later instar stage has spines on its body, it is not poisonous and does not harm humans.  
Yellow Striped Oakworm Image
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Anisota peigleri
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Yellow Striped Oakworm Moth Picture
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