Insects and Spiders - native

Pandora Moth (Coloradia pandora) on Aug 29, 2023

Submitter does not have a specimen

Description of specimen

Never saw a moth so big in Oregon and was impressed by, not only the size, but the vibrant orange and black striped abdomen. I'm a bug lover of all shapes and sizes so I just wanted to keep it from getting squished and then decided to look into what kind of moth I had found. I was running late for work and didn't have my phone on me or I'd have taken a picture but after comparing both the Gypsy moth and Pandora moth images on dozens of sites and looks looking into images of both moths found in our region it was definitely a Pandora moth. It was too dark (beigey brown) to be a Gypsy moth and the abdominal coloring was much too vibrant also. It wasn't as fuzzy as the Gypsy either. Although I now know that I have also rescued some Gypsy moth caterpillars in the past few months when they were a pretty common find in the wooded park I live in this moth didn't match up to any of the images for those. It also had a much larger broad head then a gypsy. From what I can see from news articles from bend Oregon this seems like the correct time frame and weather conditions for the Pandora moths 3 year cycle of erupting in Oregon. It didn't seem like it could fly as it didn't struggle when I picked it up, showed no signs of injury and was moving to ensure it was alive and seemed as of it had freshly emerged from caccoon as the abdomen looked as of it hadn't fully "dried out" yet. Still full and soft and squishy. Like when butterflies first emerge, the wings were dried but the abdomen was as full/wide as the moth. I had figured that it had fallen out of the trees overhead and was not flight capable yet. Figured it could finish it's process safely in the plantar of the cabin a few spaces down.