White Satin Moth Eggs

Since I usually cannot identify them, I generally ignore insect eggs. Occasionally the eggs are unusual or distinctive enough that I can make an identification. Or as in the case of this white satin moth (Leucoma salicis), the female is with her eggs and identification is much easier. This moth and eggs were on the screen door of our home near Lookout CA (Modoc County).

White satin moths are native to Eurasia from Western Europe to Japan. In the 1920s they were accidentally introduced into North America and are now widely distributed.

The white satin moth has silky white wings with a satin sheen. The leg hairs are arranged in alternating black and white rings. Some black occasionally shines through the white hairs that cover the black abdomen.

White satin moth eggs are light green in color, are laid in a cluster of one or two layers on leaves or tree trunks and are covered in a frothy secretion. (I suppose the window screen resembled the cracks and crevices of the nearby poplars.) The larvae are specialists and only feed on willow, aspen and poplar leaves. The third instars hibernate throughout the winter in bark crevices or under mosses and other ground litter. Pupation is a loose cocoon between leaves of host trees. Adults do not feed, are nocturnal and fly in midsummer.

Now if I could only figure out the identity of other insect eggs as easily as I did the white satin moth eggs.

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