8 Magnificent Moths of South Carolina

Illustration: Butterflies and Moths (1596–1610) by Anselmus Boëtius de Boodt

Throughout time moths have been a symbol of rebirth and transformation. Although, some may have negative connotations with moths such as death and dying or simply having holes left inside your expensive sweaters. The moth is a reminder for us to lighten up and not to take life so seriously. The Hopi Tribe uses the moth as their power animal and displays this mystical insect in decorative pottery and dance costumes.

Photo: Hopi Cylindrical Jar by Grace Chapella
(c) Adobe Gallery: Art of the Southwest Indian

Since I moved to the woods in South Carolina, I have spent two years compiling photos of these magnificent moths that have briefly stopped by for a quick visit at my front door.

May the magic of the moth spark a light within you everywhere you go.

Warm Regards,
Debra Roinestad

Here are 8 Magnificent Moths of South Carolina

Anisota Moth (Orange-tipped oakworm moth)

They are found in the woodland and love to eat oak leaves. Both males and females are bright orange with a white spot on both sides of their wings. The white spots remind me of the ‘evil eye’ that symbolizes protection.

Clymene Moth

The clymene moth is rare and is thought to be a spiritual sign of a ‘blessing’ for those who come across this beauty. They are known for their gorgeous markings of the cross on their wings that extend inwards.

Imperial Moth

A lovely combination of yellow and brown. Its main purpose is to reproduce. This beautiful moth has a lifespan of one week because it doesn’t eat. 

More about the Imperial Moth.

Geometer Moth

Geometer moths are small to medium in size and have slender bodies. They are also known as the pepper and salt geometer or peppered moth because of the light and dark bands on their wings. The adult size range from small to medium.

Cossula Magnifica (Pecan Carpenterworm Moth)

When I saw this moth, I thought it was a piece of stick that got caught onto the front of the cabin after a rain storm. 😂 Their wingspan is 32-45mm and the markings have tiny black dashes with light grey wings. They eat wood and lay their eggs on the wood.

Azalea Sphinx (Sphinx Moth)

A very large moth with large chunky wings that can fly 12 mph. They are called sphinx moths because when resting their turtle-like heads retract and resemble the symbol of the sphinx. These moths need to raise their body temperature to 96 degrees F to fly.

Rosy Maple Moth

The rosy maple moth is known to be one of the most beautiful moths due to its vibrant pink and yellow colors. The females lay 10-30 eggs on the underside of the leaves. Their wingspan is 3.4-5.2 cm. These moths have thick and fuzzy bodies with long antennae that allow them to detect pheromones. Mating adults are looking for partners in the early summer through fall. In South Carolina, mating occurs in March-October.

Leopard Moth

I saw this one on my way to the local supermarket, Ingles. It was hiding on the white cement wall by the entrance. The leopard moth is recognized by its white wings and black spots. Their wingspan is 5.7-9.1 cm. The underside of the belly is a bright blue.

Here is a video displaying all the details of the leopard moth.
Moths In Flight.

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