Hemileuca hera - (Harris, 1841)
Hera Sheepmoth
Other English Common Names: Hera Buck Moth, Sagebrush Sheep Moth
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.110100
Element Code: IILEW0M150
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Insects - Butterflies and Moths - Giant Silkworm and Royal Moths
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mandibulata Insecta Lepidoptera Saturniidae Hemileuca
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Tuskes, P. M., J. P. Tuttle, and M. M. Collins. 1996. The Wild Silk Moths of North America: A Natural History of the Saturniidae of the United States and Canada. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York. 250 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B96TUS01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Hemileuca hera
Taxonomic Comments: This species is also known as Sagebrush Sheep Moth and Hera Buck Moth.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 26Mar2000
Global Status Last Changed: 26Mar2000
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (17Oct2000)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N3N4 (27Sep2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Arizona (SNR), Colorado (S4), Idaho (S3), Nebraska (S1), New Mexico (SNR), Wyoming (SNR)
Canada Alberta (S2), British Columbia (SNR), Saskatchewan (S1)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.

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Distribution data for U.S. states and Canadian provinces is known to be incomplete or has not been reviewed for this taxon.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AZ, CO, ID, NE, NM, WY
Canada AB, BC, SK

Range Map
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Ecology & Life History
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Habitat Type: Terrestrial
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Adult Food Habits: Nonfeeding
Food Comments: Caterpillar Hosts: Basin big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) and sand sagebrush (A. filifolia). Adult Food: Adults do not feed (Lotts and Naberhaus 2017).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Saturniinae and most Hemileucinae

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: A location where the species occurs, or has recently occurred, where there is potential for persistence or regular recurrence. Minimally a place where an adult or other life stage has been verified in association with the foodplant in suitable habitat. Occurrences ranked higher than D should sustain persistent viable populations which will generally require at least hundreds of hectares of suitable chaparral, oak woodland, scrub, grassland, or whatever the precise habitat is. Verification standards vary some by taxa, but in most cases either a specimen or photograph should suffice. For those that spin cocoons, even a hatched cocoon may be diagnostic. For a few even eggs can be positively identified. See Tuskees et al (1996) for identification of the various stages.
Mapping Guidance: Occurrence boundaries should usually be fairly easy to approximate based on vegetation and other habitat features. A glaring exception will be AUTOMERIS IO IO an extreme generalist in foodplant and habitat. Unsuitable habitats for it include urban and suburban situations where suitable leaf litter for cocoons is limited, salt marshes and plowed croplands (again due partly to unsuitability for pupal survival). Optimum habitat seems to be shrublands and brushy woods. Boundaries for this species may be rather arbitrary, but in fact it is rarely of conservation concern and so unlikely to be mapped.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 4 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 20 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: When a cluster of occupied habitats occurs in the same geographic feature such as a desert mountain range, or a canyon treat them as a single metapopulation occurrence unless there are gaps of more than twice the unsuitable habitat distance. In general. do not treat recently fragmented patches of the same habitat (e.g. chaparral or thorn scrub) as separate occurrences if gaps are within the suitable habitat distance. One reason is that such scraps probably need to be considered together in any conservation efforts and are unlikely to persist on their own. Island occurrences can be considered as separate EOs if at least one km off shore.
Separation Justification: The habitats for these moths are normally large (hundreds of hectares) to occasionally enormous (>>100,000 hectares) and are normally several to many kilometers in at least one dimension as Tuskes et al. (1996, p. 103) point out, even for most HEMILEUCA, most species are widespread in fairly dense populations rather than highly localized and this clearly applies for most or all other Hemileucinae and Saturniinae. Those Hemileuca which do form local colonies are not in this Specs group. Obviously individual males also move widely and females are sufficiently mobile that suitable contiguous habitat will not remain unoccupied even when localized impacts such as fires or parasitoids cause patchy eradications. On the other hand habitat boundaries are often sharp and intervening terrain highly unsuitable (often low desert or developed land). While few detailed observations are reported it is generally true that these species usually occupy a fairly distinct habitat type and stay within it. These observations argue for small distances across unsuitable habitat and large ones within extensive suitable habitat. While 20 kilometers may occasionally be unrealistically small some arbitrary limit is needed within extensive habitats.
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 1 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: With small habitats the inferred extent is all available habitat. With extensive more or less contiguous habitats an arbitrary cap of 1kilometers is recommended. This is a highly conservative recommendation and few occurrences would fit within a circle of 1 km radius. Additional sampling then should show the habitat to be fully occupied regardless of its size. These moths normally occur in large to enormous habitats and are seldom consistently absent from any substantial portions of such habitats where they are present at all and often rather uniformly common. As Tuskes et al. (1996) put it their populations are normally widespread and dense. Exceptions seem most likely in parts of New England and elsewhere where COMPSILURA CONCINNATA has radically altered the population biology of Saturniidae.
Date: 21Sep2001
Author: Schweitzer, Dale F.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Lafontaine, J. D. and J.T. Troubridge. 1998. Moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera) in Smith, I.M., and G.G.E. Scudder, eds. Assessment of species diversity in the Montane Cordillera Ecozone. Burlington: Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network, 1998. Online. Available: http://www.naturewatch.ca/eman/reports/publications/99_montane/lepidopt/intro.html

  • Lotts, K., and T. Naberhaus, coordinators. 2017. Butterflies and Moths of North America. Available online: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/ (Version December 2018).

  • Pohl, G.R., J. Landry, B. C. Schmidt, J.D. Lafontaine, J.T. Troubridge, A.D. Macaulay, E.J. Van Neiukerken, J.R. DeWaard, J.J. Dombroskie, J. Klymko, V. Nazari, and K. Stead. 2018. Annotated Checklist of the Moth and Butterflies (Lepidoptera) of Canada and Alaska. Pensoft Publishers. Bulgaria. 580 pp.

  • Pohl, G.R.  J-F. Landry, B.C. Schmidt, J.D. Lafontaine, J.T. Troubridge, A.D. Macaulay, E.van Nieukerken, J.R. deWaard, J.J. Dombroskie, J. Klymko, V. Nazari and K. Stead. 2018. Annotated checklist of the moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera) of Canada and Alaska. Pensoft Publishers. 580 pp.

  • Tuskes, P. M., J. P. Tuttle, and M. M. Collins. 1996. The Wild Silk Moths of North America: A Natural History of the Saturniidae of the United States and Canada. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York. 250 pp.

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