There are at least six species of yellow and pink moths in the United States and Canada. Three are fuzzy furballs with shockingly bright colors. One is more muted in appearance. And in two species, only some individual moths have yellow and pink, sometimes so subtle you might miss it unless they're positioned just right.
Dryocampa rubicunda is the rosy maple moth's scientific name. You could say she's the most famous yellow and pink moth because she's one of the most widespread and visually striking. You can find these furry, yellow-headed moths with the stripy pink and yellow wings anywhere that has the maple and oak trees their caterpillars eat, from northern Canada all the way down to the tip of Florida.
Pink Bordered Yellow
The pink bordered yellow moth Phytometra rhodarialis is smaller and less striking than the rosy maple moth. She has a small, bald, pink head and smaller wings.. The pink bordered yellow's wings are pink in the back and yellow in front, with a small pink dot in the middle of each. These moths are found from the East Coast to Texas and Missouri.
Hyparpax aurora, the pink prominent moth, looks very much like the rosy maple moth, but with a fuzzy pink head instead of a yellow one. The pattern on the wings is also different. The pink prominent looks like she's wearing pink shoulder pads, and the wings have pink borders down to a wide pink stripe at the bottom. They're found in Canada and the United States but are considered rare. Their primary foods are leaves from oak trees and viburnum shrubs.
Haematopis grataria, the chickweed geometer, is a relative unflashy yellow and pink moth. These moths are very small and feed on short, "weedy" plants such as chickweed and clover. They're dusky gold with a horizontal pink stripe across the middle of their wings, a pink border along the bottom edge of the wings, small pink dots near the top, and a pink ring around their necks. They're found in fields, meadows and lawns throughout the summer and fall.
Hummingbird and Sphinx
The hummingbird clearwing and pandorus sphinx are very unusual moths who can have yellow and pink on their bodies and wings. The hummingbird clearwing moth, Hemaris thysbe, is a large and very sturdy daytime moth who hovers like a hummingbird around flowers -- and it's easy to mistake her for one until you note her lack of a beak. Hummingbird moths are usually red and golden on their bodies and wings. Like hummingbirds, they feed on flower nectar.
The pandorus sphinx, Eumorpha pandorus, has a range of colors that vary by individual: Only some have yellow and pink, and they can include brown and green. These moths grow up to 4 1/2 inches long. Both species are found throughout Canada and the United States. Their primary food is grapevines.
- Prince William Conservation Alliance: Hummingbird Clearwing
- Prince William Conservation Alliance: Chickweed Geometer
- Henderson State University: Family Notodontidae -- Pink Prominent Moth
- Butterflies and Moths of North America: Phytometra Rhodarialis
- Butterflies and Moths of North America: Dryocampa Rubicunda
- Insect Identification: Pandorus Sphinx Moth -- (Eumorpha Pandorus)
Angela Libal began writing professionally in 2005. She has published several books, specializing in zoology and animal husbandry. Libal holds a degree in behavioral science: animal science from Moorpark College, a Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College and is a graduate student in cryptozoology.