Giant Leopard Moth (Hypercompe scribonia)

Order: Lepidoptera (le-pid-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Arctiidae (ark-TYE-ih-dee) (Info)
Genus: Hypercompe
Species: scribonia


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Vincent, Alabama
Wetumpka, Alabama
Deer, Arkansas
Malibu, California
San Juan Capistrano, California
Canterbury, Connecticut
Bear, Delaware
Apopka, Florida
Deland, Florida
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)
Lake Mary, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Seminole, Florida
Augusta, Georgia
Algonquin, Illinois
Elkhart, Indiana
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Plymouth, Indiana
Covington, Kentucky
Hebron, Kentucky
Metairie, Louisiana
Davidsonville, Maryland
Middletown, Maryland
Oakland, Maryland
Littleton, Massachusetts
Jenison, Michigan
Jobstown, New Jersey
Larchmont, New York
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Kure Beach, North Carolina
Roseboro, North Carolina
Thomasville, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Eaton, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
Stilwell, Oklahoma
Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania
Franklin, Pennsylvania
Greensburg, Pennsylvania
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Kingston, Rhode Island
Charleston, South Carolina
Okatie, South Carolina
Sumter, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Dickson, Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Bloomburg, Texas
Desoto, Texas
Garland, Texas
Willis, Texas
Alexandria, Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Orfordville, Wisconsin
Trego, Wisconsin
Show all

Members' Notes:


On Sep 6, 2017, Badwolf from Jenison, MI wrote:

Giant leopard moth caterpillar. Jenison, Michigan. I'm going to keep it until it turns into a moth.


On Sep 14, 2015, A2ZGrowth from Red Wing, MN wrote:

Many pictures of moth on issue of seeing its caterpillar but where is the picture of caterpillar????? Don't know what one will look like if I see it!


On Mar 11, 2015, spikey2 from San Juan Capistrano, CA wrote:

Found a Leopard Moth caterpillar, 3/8/2015, crawling down side of house next to Japanese Maple Tree. Unusual, since it is very warm here (judging from previous posts). We are in San Juan Capistrano, Ca. Tried lettuce and caterpillar, named spikey (by 9 year old daughter) ate nonstop. We will get maple leaves and dandelion in there, also, after reading. Put in plastic cup first, switched to cardboard box with lettuce on bottom (sprayed water on them with bottle, which seemed to make caterpillar happy). We added a stick and I noticed today (day 3) that caterpillar has climbed up on the stick. We'll see from there.


On Jun 6, 2012, angiesbug from Manning, SC wrote:

I am44 years old,lived in Sumter,SC all my life and have never seen a bug like this around here or anywhere else for that matter until I found this one.I wonder why.Where did it come from I wonder.Is it common to see them here I also wonder.


On Jan 20, 2012, AlexsMommy from Chapel Hill, NC wrote:

I found a caterpillar just under the arch of my walkway. I scooped him into a plastic container hoping to show my son when he came home from school and then let him go. Once we googled it and saw what a beautiful moth he would turn into, we cleaned out an old aquarium and decided to keep him to watch it happen.

We have filled the aquarium with several different broad leaves (magnolia, orange, lettuce, and some unknown). The top of it mesh. He has branches and some bamboo to climb on. Some dirt and colored softwood as well as bare spots just in case. He seems to prefer the softwood. He is active at all times of the day and rests for an hour at a time which means he is either close to molting or building his cocoon. He is about 2 inches long but can grow to 3 inches so I'm no... read more


On May 8, 2010, Ger_Yahnah from Jeffersonville, IN wrote:

We found this giant leopard moth on our back porch!


On Jul 4, 2009, jrmommy from Elkhart, IN wrote:

Our neighbors found this moth on June 18th, 2009. They brought it down to my two boys. JR age 5 and Kerry age 20 months. JR fell in love with it and named it Junior. He wanted to keep it but we knew it would die in the jar. We convinced him to let it go, but he decide to pick it up. He put his finger down and the moth climbed all the way back up JR's arm, around his back, and then decide to stay on JR's shirt. This moth is very awesome. It was really neat to experience something you don't see very often.


On Apr 22, 2009, kehughes90265 from Malibu, CA wrote:

Malibu California

Jack, 8, and Dylan, 5 found a Giant Leopard Moth Caterpillar on 4/21/2009 in Malibu California, we are feeding it honeysuckle and have it in a butterfly cage.

It is about 2 inches long, any idea if we can keep it till it turns into a moth, and then let go, please advise


On Jul 13, 2008, tigermom1 from Algonquin, IL wrote:

July 12, 2008
Algonquin, IL

Found it fluttering its wings on a planter pot during daylight on the front porch. Looked like it was drying its wings, then I noticed the ends of its wings are slightly frayed. Perhaps it was injured in the big storms we had the last couple days.
I never saw anything like it. Such a striking appearance that we were looking it up to identify it.


On Jul 5, 2008, Eideblack from Chippewa Falls, WI wrote:

I found this moth drying it wings. It is huge. I have never seen it before although I have seen its shedded skin in the wood pile. I found it near Trego, Wisconsin on July 4 2008.


On Sep 22, 2007, spaffrath from Larchmont, NY wrote:

We found a 2" caterpillar in our yard - just like in the photos! We've observed it eating japanese maple leaves. It was exciting to find out what moth it was, and as far as we've been able to research it is mostly spotted in our area on eastern Long Island. We are in Westchester County New York - between NYC and the Connecticut line on the shore. Hope the birds don't find it before spring!


On Jun 25, 2007, katrun from Alexandria, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I found this Beautiful Moth here on my Wood Pile in the shade.
What a looker! I was so excited to find him. I have never seen one here in my area or in Maryland. I hope to see him again.
What a Beautiful Creature.
I do not know anything about him or his habits.
I found him during the day.


On Aug 11, 2006, Magpye from NW Qtr, AR (Zone 6a) wrote:

Description: Carrying with a 3-inch wingspan, this moth is white with black open-circular spots on the forewings and a metallic blue abdomen with orange markings.

Caterpillars grow to about 2 inches. The caterpillars are fuzzy black caterpillars with the underlying body color of red to orange.

Life Cycle: Caterpillars can be abundant in the spring time. They can sometimes be seen crossing roads so commonly that motorists notice them. The adult moths are common under lights at night later in the season to mid summer. There may be a second generation later in the year, in the lower south.

Food Source: Caterpillars feed on a variety of broad leaved plants that seem to be mostly weeds.

Pest Status: They are not considered pests exc... read more