Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFErebidae Members:
Hyphantria Members:
370 NC Records

Hyphantria cunea (Drury, 1773) - Fall Webworm Moth



view caption

view caption
Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ArctiinaeTribe: ArctiiniP3 Number: 930319.00 MONA Number: 8140.00
Comments: The only member of its genus in North America. Two species, cunea and textor, have been recognized in the past (e.g., Brimley, 1938; Forbes, 1960), but only cunea is considered valid now (Hodges, et al., 1983).
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1960)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1960); Wagner (2005)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Adults are white with variable amounts of black spotting. They are typically smaller but similar to Spilosoma species, also possessing yellow on fore-coxae and femora like all but S. latipennis. Particularly similar to S. congrua, with both possessing all white abdomens and overlapping in size. The antennal shaft of Hyphantria is typically black, however (at least in the typical form, Forbes, 1960), whereas it is usually white in Spilosoma species (Forbes also describes form textor of Hyphantria as having white shafts). Hyphantria are also usually smaller, slimmer, and occasionally much darker than Spilosoma.
Wingspan: 25 - 39 mm (Covell, 1984)
Adult Structural Features: Hyphantria only possess a single pair of tibial spurs (terminal) on the hind-legs instead of the two pairs found in Spilosoma (Forbes, 1960).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: Larvae are social, building large communal webs that are quite conspicuous; unlike the Eastern Tent Caterpillars, which build their webs at branch crotches, Hyphantria larvae build theirs out on the tips of the branches. The larvae are highly variable in coloration, ranging from pale yellowish-green to dark gray (Wagner, 2005). Some of the hairs are extremely long, greater than 4-5 body segments in length (Wagner, 2005).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Occurs statewide (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: Has three broods in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain but the pattern is less clear in the Mountains
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Wagner (2005) lists the habitats of this species as "yards and parks, fields, fencerows, woodlands, and forests." In North Carolina, it is found in most habitats that possess hardwood trees, including maritime and coastal fringe forests, sandhills, floodplains, mesic slopes, and dry ridges and summits.
Larval Host Plants: Polyphagous, but feeding solely on hardwood trees, unlike most other members of the Arctiinae. Recorded from over 400 species of hardwoods (Wagner, 2005). In North Carolina, we have observed it feeding on a wide range of hardwoods, including ash, birch, cherry, hickory, holly, maple, mulberry, persimmon, redbud, sourwood, sweetgum, sycamore, and walnut. - View
Observation Methods: Populations are easily detected by the communal webs made by the larvae. Adults come well to blacklights, with up to 90 being collected in a single trap. None have been recorded at bait.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Hardwood Forests
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: This species is abundant, widespread, and makes use of a wide variety of habitats across the state, including wooded residential areas. It appears to be quite secure.

 Photo Gallery for Hyphantria cunea - Fall Webworm Moth

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

Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik on 2023-10-06
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Basinger on 2023-09-26
Wilson Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Basinger on 2023-09-26
Wilson Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik on 2023-09-20
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Morgan Freese on 2023-09-18
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik on 2023-09-15
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George on 2023-09-10
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George on 2023-09-08
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik on 2023-09-07
Chatham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Basinger on 2023-09-03
Brunswick Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George on 2023-09-03
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Peifer on 2023-09-02
Alamance Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Peifer on 2023-09-02
Alamance Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Peifer on 2023-09-02
Alamance Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik on 2023-09-01
Chatham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George on 2023-08-31
Chatham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George on 2023-08-29
Chatham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George on 2023-08-25
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Terrell Tucker on 2023-08-24
Moore Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik on 2023-07-19
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2023-06-25
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2023-06-25
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2023-06-25
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: B. Bockhahn on 2023-06-17
Avery Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Stephen Dunn on 2023-06-17
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Stephen Dunn on 2023-06-17
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George on 2023-06-16
Avery Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Stephen Dunn on 2023-05-31
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2023-05-21
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Stephen Dunn on 2023-05-21
Orange Co.
Comment: