|Spiny Oakworm Moth
Family: Giant Silkworm and Royal Moths (Saturniidae)
State Rarity Rank:
Global Rarity Rank:
Did you know?
The spiny oakworm caterpillar is just that,very spiny. Fortunately, this species is classified as ?non-stinging.? It bears a pair of long, dangerous-looking but harmless spines on the thorax. The spiny oakworm is part of a small group of similarly "horned" caterpillars with two long, curved spines behind the head.
|State Ranking Justification||
Within New York State, the spiny oakworm moth is known to occur in only one population on Long Island, in dwarf pine barrens in Suffolk County. North of New Jersey, the species is highly habitat specific and is known to occur only in pine barrens and scrub habitats (Wagner et al. 2003; NatureServe 2010). The species is very rare in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, and it is extirpated or historical from the rest of New England. It might also be very rare in New York State (Schweitzer 1996). However, additional populations might still be found in pine barrens and scrub habitats, and additional surveys are needed to better understand its status and distribution in the state.
The short-term trend for the spiny oakworm moth in New York State indicates that the population is stable. The presence of the species over multiple years at the one documented population in the state indicates that the population is viable and is reproducing.
The spiny oakworm moth is known to have declined in the Northeast (Wagner 2005). The long-term trend for the species in New York State is unknown, but on Long Island the species has probably declined from historical numbers due to habitat loss from development and the suppression of fires. Currently, the one general area that the moth is known to occupy is owned by several public entities and private owners.