Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFSaturniidae Members:
Eacles Members:
355 NC Records

Eacles imperialis (Drury, 1773) - Imperial Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Bombycoidea Family: SaturniidaeSubfamily: CaratocaminaeP3 Number: 890012.00 MONA Number: 7704.00
Comments: One of two species in this genus occurring in the United States and the only one in our area
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1923), Ferguson (1971), Tuskes et al. (1996)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1923), Ferguson (1971), Covell (1984), Tuskes et al. (1996), Wagner (2005)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The large yellow adults with pinkish- or purplish-brown spots, blotches, or lines are unmistakeable.
Wingspan: 100 mm, males, 150 mm, females (Forbes, 1923)
Adult ID Requirements: Unmistakable and widely known.
Immatures and Development: Like the two Citheronia species, the caterpillars of Eacles have paired spiky horns on their thoracic segments (reduced on the first segment in late instars), rows of small spines on their abdominal segments, and a caudal horn at the end of the abdomen. Unlike the Citheronias, they are also covered with long setae and have prominent pale spots on their spiracles. Pupation occurs underground.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Occurs state-wide in North Carolina
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Immature Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: One flight, mainly in the summer over most parts of the state but with individuals occasionally appearing in the spring in the Coastal Plain
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Occurs in virtually every wooded habitat in the state, including residential areas
Larval Host Plants: Polyphagous, feeding on many species of hardwood trees and shrubs; also on conifers. Brimley (1938) lists the following species as used in North Carolina: Red cedar, oak, Persimmon, Sweetgum, elm, and pine. Wagner (2005) additionally lists basswood, birch, maple, Sassafras, sycamore, and Black walnut.
Observation Methods: Adults come well to 15 watt blacklights, with up to 23 being recorded in a single trap; also frequently observed at incandescent lights. Adults do not feed, so are not attracted to bait or flowers. Larvae live well up in the trees and are rarely seen. This species is easy to rear in captivity (see Tuskes et al., 1996, for details).
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Forests and Shrublands
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S5]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Populations are locally vulnerable to the effects of weather, outbreaks of disease, parasites, and predators, and to the effects of pesticides. However, given the commonness of their host plants, wide habitat range and statewide distribution, this species should easily recover from most localized and temporary losses. That may not be true, however, with respect to more pervasive, permanent threats. In the Northeast, populations of this moth have been widely and perhaps permanently extirpated, probably due to parasitism by Compsilura concinnata, a Tachinid fly widely introduced to combat Gypsy Moths and other pest Lepidopetera (Schweitzer et al., 2011; Wagner, 2012). Compsilura has spread as far south as Virginia (Kellogg et al., 2003) and the situation in North Carolina needs to be monitored.

 Photo Gallery for Eacles imperialis - Imperial Moth

143 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2022-08-24
Cumberland Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2022-08-05
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: C. Teague on 2022-08-03
Beaufort Co.
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Recorded by: Charles Landgraf on 2022-08-03
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Charles Landgraf on 2022-08-03
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Hart on 2022-08-02
Harnett Co.
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Recorded by: John Petranka on 2022-08-01
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Whitney Wallace on 2022-08-01
Davidson Co.
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Recorded by: Wayne Wright on 2022-07-30
Wilkes Co.
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Recorded by: Wayne Wright on 2022-07-30
Wilkes Co.
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Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2022-07-30
Sampson Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-07-28
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-07-26
Greene Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-07-26
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-07-25
Greene Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Bo Sullivan, and Steve Hall on 2022-07-24
Moore Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2022-07-19
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-07-17
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-06-28
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Jennifer Smith & Rusty James on 2021-08-24
Cumberland Co.
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Recorded by: Jennifer Smith & Rusty James on 2021-08-24
Cumberland Co.
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Recorded by: EDWARD KRETZ on 2021-08-18
Davidson Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-08-14
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2021-08-11
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Bo Sullivan on 2021-08-10
Richmond Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Bo Sullivan on 2021-08-10
Richmond Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-08-06
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-08-05
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-08-02
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-08-02
Wake Co.
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