Location: Le Chautay, France
May 13, 2012 4:59 am
my aunt found this beautiful creature during last summer on the ground – i was wondering if you could identify it for me.
This is a Tiger Moth, and we cannot find any photos of French or European species that look similar, however, both the wing markings and body markings are remarkably similar to a North American species Hypercompe scribonia, known as the Giant Leopard Moth which is pictured on BugGuide.
Correction Courtesy of Karl: Leopard Moth
Hi Daniel and Cassia:
It probably is a Leopard Moth, but not the North American variety. The European species of Leopard Moth, or Wood Leopard Moth (Zeuzera pyrina), is actually a Carpenter Moth in the family Cossidae. The larvae are stem borers and apparently can take up to three years to develop into adults. They are considered a minor pest on fruit trees. There is a fair amount of online information about the species, including this page from the “Interactive Agricultural Ecological Atlas of Russia and Neighboring Countries”. I don’t know if the North American species Hypercompe scribonia has made it to Europe, but Z. pyrina has been established in the northeastern USA since the late 19th century. Regards. Karl
Wow, thanks Karl,
This Leopard Moth looks so much like the Giant Leopard Moth.