large yellow and brown moth
July 9, 2010
saw this on the sidewalk in downtown omaha. it was still alive although not interested in flying. i moved it off the sidewalk and when touched it would flip over. it also appears to have a hole in its head one side…maybe a parasite?
omaha, ne

Imperial Moth

Dear Miles,
Your moth is a male Imperial Moth,
Eacles imperialis, and it is a male moth based on the amount of purple/brown on the wings.  The female is more yellow.  Imperial Moths do not feed as adults, and they only live a few days, perhaps a week at most.  Their sole purpose as adults is the perpetuation of the species, though they also provide food for many predators.  Perhaps this moth was attacked by a bird and then abandoned.

5 Responses to Imperial Moth

  1. Alex g says:

    I caught a female a minute ago, it let me catch it but it started vibrating(for body heat?) and took off, cool moth, really fuzzy.

  2. Linda says:

    I found an imperial moth laying eggs in my gravel driveway. Should I move the eggs to a grassy area. They will surely get run over where they are. The mother looks like she’s about to die.

    • bugman says:

      You can try moving them near a host tree. BugGuide lists food plants as “Larvae feed on leaves of Bald Cypress, basswood, birch, cedar, elm, hickory, Honeylocust, maple, oak, pine, Sassafras (Sassafras albidum), Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), sycamore, walnut.

  3. Angela says:

    is this bug poison

  4. Mary Jo Hobbs says:

    After reading an earlier comment, I think I have a female imperial moth on the tree in front of my store. It was there yesterday and moved up the tree today and The tree might be a birch. I thought it was hurt and I was surprised with the size. Wingspan is as large as my iPhone. It is really beautiful. Let me know how I can send you a picture to confirm. Thank you

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