Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFSaturniidae Members: 102 NC Records

Citheronia regalis (Fabricius, 1793) - Regal Moth



view caption
Taxonomy
Superfamily: Bombycoidea Family: SaturniidaeSubfamily: CaratocaminaeP3 Number: 890009.00 MONA Number: 7706.00
Comments: One of two species in this genus that occurs in North Carolina (a third species, C. splendens, occurs in the US in southern Arizona)
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 gray, red-veined, and yellow spotted adults are unmistakeable.
Wingspan: 110-160 mm (Forbes, 1923)
Adult ID Requirements: Unmistakable and widely known.
Immatures and Development: The caterpillars, known as Hickory Horned Devils, are also distinctive, due to their large size and three pairs of conspicuous leg-like spines located on their anterior thoracic segements. Larvae of the Pine Devil (Citheronia sepulcralis) are fairly similar, but are typically brown or beige with yellow horns whereas C. regalis larvae are usually green or brown and more strikingly marked; their thoracic and caudal horns are also usually orange to reddish in color and tipped with black (Tuskes et al., 1996).
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Occurs state-wide (Brimley, 1938)
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: Brimley (1938) stated that C. regalis is at least partially two-brooded in North Carolina. However, it appears to be a univoltine, summer-flying species over much of its range (Ferguson, 1971; Tuskes et al., 1996), which appears to be supported by our data.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Occurs in a wide variety of forests, ranging from peatland and longleaf pine communities in the Coastal Plain to bottomland and upland hardwoods in the Piedmont and Mountains, including those located above 4,000 ft in elevation. We have no records from the Outer Banks, however, or from other barrier islands.
Larval Host Plants: Polyphagous on many species of hardwood trees and shrubs; also including Cotton. Brimley (1938) lists the following host plants used in North Carolina: cotton, hickory, Sweetgum, Black walnut, Pecan, Persimmon, Sourwood, and the introduced Princess tree (Paulownia). Wagner (2005) adds ash, butternut, cherry, lilac, sumac, and sycamore.
Observation Methods: Comes moderately well to 15 watt UV lights and also to incandescent lights, almost always showing up as single individuals (the maximum number we have trapped on a given occasion is two). Adults do not feed and consequently are not attracted by bait or flowers. Larvae can be detected by their large droppings (Wagner, 2005) and when mature become quite conspicuous as they wander over the ground searching for a place to pupate. Pupation occurs underground.
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 now spread as far south as Virginia (Kellogg et al., 2003) and the situation in North Carolina needs to be monitored.

 Photo Gallery for Citheronia regalis - Regal Moth

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

Recorded by: B. Hartness on 2021-08-30
Moore Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2021-07-27
Graham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-07-26
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-21
Graham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2020-08-09
Cabarrus Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-07-28
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn on 2020-07-15
Polk Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn on 2020-07-15
Polk Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: C. Bennett, W. Ruark on 2019-09-04
Iredell Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: C. Bennett, W. Ruark on 2019-09-04
Iredell Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-07-29
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Owen and Pat McConnell on 2019-07-22
Graham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Owen and Pat McConnell on 2019-07-21
Graham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David Heavner on 2019-07-02
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George on 2018-09-04
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Nancy Cowal on 2018-08-19
McDowell Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Nancy Cowal on 2018-07-26
McDowell Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Alicia Ballard on 2018-07-20
Alamance Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2018-07-18
Ashe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Alicia Ballard on 2018-06-04
Caswell Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2017-08-24
Yancey Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Lenny Lampel on 2017-07-22
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Michele Martone on 2017-06-20
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2015-08-08
Warren Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, P. Coin, C. Sorenson on 2015-07-24
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: L. Garner on 2015-07-06
Bladen Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2014-07-23
Rockingham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2014-07-20
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Billy Hartness on 2013-09-09
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: D. Mumford on 2013-08-20
Wake Co.
Comment: