Santa Clarita and Northern Los Angeles County Area
Butterfly and Moth Site

Western Sheepmoth [Hemileuca eglanterina] Adult Insect Images

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The first two examples were collected in the Frazier Park, CA area. The next two came from the mountains north of Kernville, CA. Note the pinkish color of the more northern examples.

A couple of high-res images from the SCV collection shot on 6-14-2005...

These two images are of a freshly emerged male, raised in captivity. The eggs from which he came were collected by the coast, near Carmel, CA.

A trip to Mt. Frazier on 8-25-2005 was primarily aimed at baiting Hemileuca eglanterina males with a freshly emerged female. I was happy to discover that other leps were still having a strong flight so there would be plenty to do and see, even if no eglanterina males showed. Also along for the ride was a fresh H. nuttalli female.

The female began scenting at about 8:30am. I arrived at about 10am and within 10 minutes of opening the car door, 4 or 5 males showed-up, circling around the car like sharks! I proceeded to hang the small emerging cage with the nuttalli female on a tree near the care and then head cross-wind about 1/4 mile to hang the eganterina female in another spot. The idea being to provide two scent plumes downwind to increase the are covered. The terrain being somewhat even, if eglanterina males were attracted to nuttalli females, both cages should have attracted roughly the same number of males. However, the nuttalli female attracted zero (as expected), while the eglanterina pulled-in 30!

The first image is the eglanterina cage on a tree. The second one shows typical terrain and foliage at Frazier summit (a little over 8000').

At the end of the day, about 3pm, I released all the males with chips, tears and wear. They hadn't been flying for a while and cooled-off so they were in no mood to fly. The ambient temperature had also cooled so most of them crawled part-way up this pine tree trunk and settled-in for the evening. This allowed a few nice images...

The female shown below (1st image) was collected at Frazier Mt. summit in Ventura Co., CA. as a 3rd instar larva on 6-21-2005. After being reared in the lab, she eclosed on 8-25-2005 and was taken back to the summit to bait males that same day.

The remainder of the specimens are males that responded. Many damaged specimens were released, but those which were in reasonably good condition and displayed a variety of color and pattern variations were collected.

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