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Green Striped Mapleworms

Dryocampa rubicunda, the rosy maple moth, is a small North American moth in the family Saturniidae, also known as the great silk moths. It was first described by Johan Christian Fabricius in 1793. The species is known for its wooly body and pink and yellow coloration, which varies from cream or white to bright pink or yellow. Males have bushier antennae than females, which allow them to sense female pheromones for mating.

As the common name of the species implies, the preferred host trees are maple tree. Adult females lay their yellow ovular eggs in groups of 10 to 40 on the underside of maple leaves. The emerging caterpillars, also known as the greenstriped mapleworm, mainly feed on the leaves of their host maple trees, particularly red maple, silver maple, and sugar maple. Since the caterpillars eat the entire leaf blade, in dense populations, caterpillars have been known to defoliate trees, resulting in aesthetic rather than permanent damage. However, like all other Saturniid moths, the adult moths do not eat.

Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's NatureScene, which began its long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, have earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. Since retiring from SCETV, Rudy has gone on to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.