Exploring the Types of Moths Found in Oregon

Oregon is known for its diverse ecosystems, ranging from the Pacific coastline to the Cascade Mountains and high desert regions. This varied landscape supports a wide range of moth species. While it is not possible to list all the moths found in Oregon, here are some common and notable moth species that can be found in the state:

1. Western Tiger Swallowtail Moth (Papilio rutulus)

Western Tiger Swallowtail moths are large and striking with yellow wings and distinctive black stripes. They have a wingspan of about 3.5 to 4.5 inches. These moths are commonly found in forested areas and open spaces throughout Oregon.

2. Ceanothus Silk Moth (Hyalophora euryalus)

Ceanothus Silk moths are known for their beautiful appearance. They have reddish-brown wings with prominent eyespots and a wingspan of approximately 3 to 4 inches. Ceanothus Silk moths can be found in Oregon’s forests and woodlands.

3. Western Pine Elfin Moth (Callophrys eryphon)

Western Pine Elfin moths are small and have wings that are typically green or brown with subtle markings. They have a wingspan of about 0.75 to 1 inch. These moths are commonly found in coniferous forests across Oregon and are often seen near pine trees.

4. Douglas-fir Tussock Moth (Orgyia pseudotsugata)

Douglas-fir Tussock moths are medium-sized moths with wings that are usually white or light gray with dark spots. They have a wingspan of approximately 1.5 to 2 inches. The larvae of these moths are known as tussock caterpillars and can be found on Douglas-fir trees, which are abundant in Oregon.

5. Western Tent Caterpillar Moth (Malacosoma californicum)

Western Tent Caterpillar moths are known for their distinctive tent-like nests made of silk and caterpillar silk. They have wings that are typically brown or gray with subtle markings and a wingspan of about 1 to 1.5 inches. Western Tent Caterpillar moths can be found in various habitats, including forests and urban areas.

6. Large Yellow Underwing Moth (Noctua pronuba)

Large Yellow Underwing moths are medium-sized with wings that are usually mottled with various shades of brown and yellow. They have a wingspan of approximately 1.5 to 2 inches. These moths are found in a wide range of habitats, including forests, gardens, and urban areas.

These are just a few examples of the moth species that can be found in Oregon. The state’s diverse ecosystems provide homes for numerous moth species, each with its own unique characteristics and habitat preferences. Exploring Oregon’s natural areas, including forests, meadows, and wetlands, can offer opportunities to encounter and appreciate the fascinating diversity of moths in the state.