Regal Moth Facts
- The gorgeous Regal Moth is one of the largest species of Lepidoptera in its native range. Its distinctively shaped caterpillar form is also popular as the Hickory Horned Devil.
- In terms of sheer mass, this visually stunning invertebrate quite easily represents the heaviest moth species north of Mexico.
- This impressive creature evolved as especially particular about which plants it chooses to utilize as a host. Only a handful of species qualify.
- Males of this moth have been known to fly great distances to find a female with which to mate.
Regal Moth Physical Description
The Mesmerizing Regal Moth attains a maximum measured wingspan of as much as 6 in (15 cm). However, the species does display a slight degree of sexual dimorphism. In this case, the female grows slightly larger than the male.
The forewings are typically either gray or gray-green in color, with a row of yellow spots. The hind wings are primarily orange with yellow patches, while the body is usually orange with yellow bands.
The caterpillar form is extremely large for a caterpillar. Despite its fearsome appearance, it remains absolutely harmless.
Species: C. regalis
Regal Moth Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The always fabulous Regal Moth evolved as endemic primarily to the deciduous forest regions of the eastern United States, in North America.
That range extends from New Jersey to Missouri, to eastern Texas and central Florida, and all points east of those. The lovely insect also remains more common in the southern sections of this range.
While it will stay in a restricted variety of tree species if its preferred choices remain unavailable, it greatly prefers walnut and hickory trees.
After mating, the females spend most of the rest of their lives laying eggs. Meanwhile, the male may mate several more times before he dies.