Search Field Guide
Advanced Search
MT Gov Logo
Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Ranchman's Tiger Moth - Platyprepia virginalis

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
The forewing of the Ranchman's Tiger Moth (Platyprepia virginalis) is black with many large and round yellow spots. The hindwing is variable, either orange with black bands or mostly black with orange spots. The thorax is black with dorsal-anterior patches of yellow. The wingspan is about 62 mm (USGS 2006).

Ranchman's Tiger Moths fly during the day in early summer (USGS 2006).

Diagnostic Characteristics
St. Lawrence Tiger Moth (Platarctia parthenos) is similar to the Ranchman's Tiger Moth, but it's forewing is brown with small yellow spots and its thorax is red-brown. The St. Lawrence Tiger Moth is uncommon and restricted to the northern Rocky Mountain region including the Blue Mountains (USGS 2006).

Range Comments
The Ranchman's Tiger Moth is common in meadows of western North America (USGS 2006).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 2

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Food Habits
The larvae are generalist feeders on foliage of herbaceous plants (USGS 2006).

Login Logout
Citation for data on this website:
Ranchman's Tiger Moth — Platyprepia virginalis.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from