Nuttall's Sheepmoth Hodges # 7743
Hemileuca nuttalli
Male Emerging

Home     Butterflies and Moths    Details     Adults     Immatures

10:26 A.M.
 male just after eclosing




11:25 A.M.

  10:33 A.M.
Photo Details ŠNicky Davis

On 14 August 2013 Les  and Nicky Davis  located female and males at a meadow on the Guardsman Pass Road, Utah
 7230 feet, 40.34.13 N,  111.29.57 W.

The female
was placed in a paper bag on 14 August 2013 where she oviposited  150 ova.
Per Butterflies and Moths of North America, the ova overwinter, larvae emerge in the spring then hibernate again as pupae.   Ova were placed in a container and misted every third day and kept in  room temperature of about 78 degrees.  The light was shut off at about 9 P.M. each day which still gave the ova light for  about 14 hours.

One of the ova emerged 28 September 2013 so 14 hours of daylight  with warm temperatures of 78 degrees was too much to keep them from emerging the same year.   On the same day, the rest of the ova were placed in the fridge at  around 40 degrees to try to stop them from emerging  since the host plant will not be available for long this fall.  They will be put in lower temperatures soon.

Ova - were taken out of hibernation 19 April 2014. They emerged on 20 and 21 April 2014
Molted to second instar 26th and 27th  of April 2014
Molted to third instar 30 April - 2nd  of May 2014 - 13 mm. long  as first day third instar.
Molted to fourth instar May 5 and 6th 2014
Molted to fifth instar May 11-13th  2014
Fifth Instars ate for 6-8 days then began wandering around and refused to feed.  On the 22nd of May they were finally  placed in containers filled with peat moss and some shredded paper towels on top.  There was some spotting of liquid.  They were  misted with water once a day.  I began to place the containers outside overnight to give them more natural temperatures.  On May 24th three larvae expelled some red liquid on the paper towel then burrowed into the peat moss  and stayed there until forming pupae on the 30th and 31st of May 2014.  They had made a depression around the edge of the container from continuously walking around it.  I thought  none of the others had pupated but when  I emptied the containers I found several more pupae in the peat moss.

In going to this same spot during June we saw the caterpillars of the nuttalli on the Snowberry bushes there.  On 21 June 2014 we saw caterpillars on the side of the sandy pull out road  digging into the sand to pupate.  

Pupae were taken out of diapause (hibernation) June 1, 2015 and the male shown above eclosed July 11, 2015

Larvae -  Time spent as
First Instar -  6 days - Four day old first instars were 5 mm. long
Second Instar - 5 days -  7 mm. long
Third Instar -  5 days -
Fourth Instar -  6-7 days
Fifth Instar -    53 mm- ate for 6-8 days then began wandering around and refused to feed. 
Pupae - 27-31 mm long  formed beginning May 30, 2014.  They were put into diapause (hibernation) in the fall and left there until June 1, 2015.

Host Plant

Symphoricarpos rotundifolius syn. oreophilus - Snowberry Bush

Hemileuca hera uses Purshia tridentata
Hemileuca eglanterina uses  Ribes

go to top