Lophocampa roseata (Walker, 1866)
Lophocampa roseata is a true gem because it is both beautiful and rare. It is a small to medium-sized (FW length 14 - 15 mm) moth found predominantly in the vicinity of the Salish Sea in our region. The ground color of the forewing is light yellow, the transverse lines are brown, and the veins are colored bright orange-red, giving the impression of a bright orange wing spotted with light yellow. The hindwing is translucent light yellow without marks. The head and collar are orange brown, while the dorsal thorax is longitudinally striped with orange brown and grayish yellow. The abdomen is light orange brown, similar to the bipectinate antennae.
L. roseata is unlikely to be confused with any other moth in our region.
The larva is covered with long hairs arranged in short tufts. Young larvae are mostly bright rusty orange with creamy white tufts, while mature larvae have mostly gray tufts along the sides and forming a line down the middle of the back, and a long line of mixed black and yellow tufts to either side of the central line of gray tufts. Longer white tufts protrude from the front and rear end of all but the youngest larvae.
L. roseata occurs in conifer forest and urban landscapes.
L. roseata is restricted to western Oregon and Washington and southwestern British Columbia in the Pacific Northwest. Almost all records are from low elevations in the Salish Sea region (Gulf of Georgia), including Vancouver Island, the lower Fraser Valley and adjacent northwestern Washington, and the San Juan and Gulf Islands. An isolated record exists from Clatsop County, Oregon.
This species is has a disjunct distribution. It occurs in the central and southern Rocky Mountain region outside of the Pacific Northwest.
Paul Hammond found a larva on a Norway maple in Astoria, Oregon, but more recent observations recorded on BugGuide show the larvae on conifers. Hardy (1958) obtained eggs from a female and raised larvae to pupation on a diet of Douglas fir, and Christie Caldwell (2023) thoroughly documented the life stages of this moth species after having regularly found larvae under Douglas fir. In Caldwell's study, all larval stages successfully developed on Douglas fir needles.
Adults are single brooded and occur in mid summer, with most records from July. It is nocturnal and comes to light.
Caldwell, C. (2023) Life history of Lophocampa roseata (Walker, 1868). News of the Lepidopterists' Society 65: 3-6.
Ferguson et al. (2000)