Hemileuca juno Packard, 1872

MONA 7735

Juno Buck Moth

Identification

Adults

Hemileuca juno is a striking large to very large black and white day-flying moth (FW length 25–30 mm) that has been reported as occurring in southern Idaho in the literature. The forewing is jet black marked with a variable patch of white in the distal median area, often largest distal to the discal spot, and to a lesser extent at the base of the cell. The extent of the white is often greater in females. The discal spot is black with a white center, although the white portion is most prominent. The hindwing is black, with occasional females showing vestiges of white. The body is black with the tip of the abdomen dark red in males. The antenna are bipectinate in both sexes, widely so in males.

This species may not exist in our area but is unmistakable due to its large size and nearly solid black color. It is most similar to Hemileuca nevadensis which is similar in size, but it has much more extensive white on both wings than H. juno.

Habitat

This species is endemic to the lower Sonoran desert in the Southwest where it flies in desert brushlands with mesquite, the larval foodplant.  Despite an old record from Idaho, this species probably does not occur in the Pacific Northwest because the foodplant is entirely restricted to the Southwest.

Distribution

Pacific Northwest

Hemileuca juno was reported from Idaho by Comstock and Dammers (1939). No other occurrences of this moth from near our region are known.

Global

This is a species of the desert Southwest. It occurs from eastern California to New Mexico, reaching northern Mexico in the south and Idaho in the north.

Life History

Larvae

This species is a foodplant specialist feeding on mesquite (Prosopis spp.) in the Fabaceae.

Adults

The adults are diurnal and fly during late fall.

Economic Importance

None.

Literature

BugGuide

Comstock & Dammers (1939)

Ferguson (1971)

Moth Photographers Group

Tuskes et al. (1996)