July 20, 2009
THIS MOTH WAS FOUND IN OKANOGAN, WASHINGTON NOT SURE WHAT SPECIES IT IS BUT IT IS COLORFUL.
Your moth is the highly variable Elegant Sheep Moth, Hemileuca eglanterina, which is pictured on BugGuide. BugGuide has the following information: “Variable. Forewing usually rose-pink and orange, usually with black bands, though sometimes absent. Hindwing is orange with a similar pattern, though variable: sometimes absent, sometimes covering most of hindwing. (2) Day-flying, reputed to fly fast and close to the ground. Range Widely distributed in western North America: Rocky Mountains west to Pacific, from Southern California to southern Canada. In California found west of the crest of the Sierras, absent from San Joaquin Valley except for Sacramento Delta, found in southern California only in the mountains.” The moth is referred to as a Sheep Moth because of its frequent presence in sheep pastures.