Moth Identification: Pink Moth Species

A pink moth could be different Lepidoptera and Saturniidae species, such as Southern pinkRosy maplePrimroseElephant hawk, or Underwing moth.

Southern Pink Moth

Southern pink moth
Southern pink moth

The Southern pink moth (Pyrausta inornatalis or Salvia guaranitica) has an average wingspan of about half an inch. This is why it’s regarded as a small moth species.

The majority of the wings are typically wine-colored or reddish-pink. The hindwings are usually paler along the base and may showcase a red pattern along the vein of their surface.

While perched on a host plant, the moth sits in a triangular shape. Its initial appearance may be mistaken for a flower, which helps Southern pink moth blend with their surroundings.

There have been sightings of the Southern pink moth in the following US locations:

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  • California
  • Oregon
  • Missouri
  • Georgia
  • Tennessee
  • Maryland
  • Virginia

Rosy Maple Moth

Pink moth
Pink moth – Rosy maple

Rosy maple moths (Dryocampa rubicunda) have an average wingspan of about 1.75 inches (in males) and roughly 2 inches (in females). They are easy to identify due to their yellow and pink wings.

These moths also have pink or red legs and antennae, while their hindwings and bodies are predominantly yellow. Their forewings have a yellow band that runs across the middle part of the surface.

The adult Rosy maple moths are usually fond of laying their eggs on deciduous plants, such as sugar maple trees. As larvae, they feed together in clusters but eventually drift away from each other once they reach the third or fourth instar.

The female shows little regard for her young once she is done laying the eggs. She’ll leave them on the surface of the host plants, and once they hatch, they’ll feed on the leaves and stems.

You can find the Rosy maple moth in these places in North America:

  • Canada (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario)
  • US (Florida, Eastern Texas, Minnesota)

Primrose Moth

Pink moth
Pink moth – Primerose

The Primrose moth (Schinia Florida) has an average wingspan of about 1.4 inches. Thus, it can be considered a relatively small species.

Its forewings are bright pink with yellowish markings along the costal areas. Moreover, the medial side also has scattered yellow and pink spots on the surface.

The hindwings of the Primrose moth are usually white or creamy white, while the head is pink. The abdomen and thorax are typically creamy white or pale yellow (sometimes a combination of both).

The female moths lay their eggs on the evening primroses, specifically on the flower buds. The eggs hatch about 4 or 5 days after.

The larvae resort to overwintering once they reach the cocoon stage. They will bury the pupa underground and wait for the weather to improve.

These moths are typically nocturnal and are most active during evening and dawn. In the mornings and afternoons, they perch on the evening primrose flowers to rest and recuperate.

The Primrose moths have been present in these locations for the last 5 years:

  • Indiana
  • Wisconsin
  • Maryland
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • Northern Florida
  • Idaho
  • New Hampshire
  • Maine

They’re also seen in Canada, specifically in Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Quebec.

Elephant Hawk-moth

Elephant Hawk moth
Elephant Hawk moth

The Elephant hawk-moths (Deilephila elpenor) have an average wingspan of about 2 inches. This classifies them as small to medium-sized species.

They have a yellowish-brown wing surface with bright pink markings that run along the edges. These markings also cross the head, abdominal, and thorax regions. They serve as deterrents for their predators should they plan on attacking them.

Elephant hawk-moths are nocturnal and are most active from dusk to dawn. They spend the day resting on their host plants’ leaves and stems.

There have been some sightings of the Elephant hawk-moth in the following areas:

  • Wales
  • England
  • Ireland
  • Channel Islands
  • Scotland

Underwing Moth

Darling underwing
Darling underwing

The Underwing moths (genus Catocala spp.) have a wingspan ranging from 2 to 3 inches. The approximate size will depend on the specific species of Underwing moth.

Species that can be considered Underwing moths are:

  • Darling underwing (Catocala cara)
  • Beloved underwing (Catocala ilia)
  • Joined underwing (Catocala junctura)
  • Oldwife underwing (Catocala palaeogama)
  • Tearful underwing (Catocala lachrymosa)

The forewings of these moths are usually gray, brown, or tan with wavy lines. When they perch against a tree trunk, they blend well with their surroundings.

Their hindwings combine pink, yellow, red, and orange with bold patterns in contrasting shades.

These moths are nocturnal and feed on deciduous tree leaves during the night. They are also attracted to lights and can hide in trunk base litter when needed.

For the last 5 years, the Underwing moths have been living and thriving in Mexico.

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