Grapeleaf skeletonizer

Harrisina americana

The grapeleaf skeletonizer is a moth in the family Zygaenidae. It is widespread in the eastern half of the United States, and commonly noticed defoliating grapes, especially of the Virginia creeper . The western grapeleaf skeletonizer is very similar to and slightly larger than ''H. americana,'' but their distributions are different.
Grapeleaf Skeletonizer Moth (Harrisina americana) At a 365nm UV light setup at the edge of a dense mixed forest. Geotagged,Grapeleaf skeletonizer,Harrisina americana,International Moth Week,Lepidoptera,Moth Week,Moth Week 2020,National Moth Week,Summer,United States,moth,moth week


The adult has narrow black wings, usually held away from the body at rest, and a reddish collar. The wingspan is 18–28 mm, the length 8–12 mm.

The larva has a dark head; the body is yellow with a complete black band across each abdominal segment. The larvae can reach up to 15 mm in length.
Grapeleaf Skeletonizer Moth (Harrisina americana) Eggs on Quercus sp.? Eggs on an oak leaf in a dense mixed forest. Geotagged,Grapeleaf skeletonizer,Harrisina americana,Spring,United States


Eggs are lemon yellow, shaped like a capsule, slightly over 0.5 mm in length and are laid in clusters on the underside of leaves. They hatch in about a week.

Larvae are stout, with ten bright yellow bands or lines of dots, and eleven black bands alternating. They have hair-like setae that, if brushed against, will give a rash that lasts several days. They feed in groups that become progressively smaller as the larvae age. They constantly live on the underside of the leaves, and frequently line up side by side. Development from hatch to pupation takes about 40 days.

This is the only moth species that feeds gregariously on grape foliage.
Grapeleaf Skeletonizer Moth (Harrisina americana)  At a 365 + 395nm UV light setup at a mixed forest edge. Geotagged,Grapeleaf skeletonizer,Harrisina americana,Moth Week 2021,Summer,United States


There are several generations per year in the south, and one in the north of its range.


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SpeciesH. americana