Actias ningpoana

Suitable host plants:
Alnus cremastogyne (Betulaceae) “Yangtze alder”
Alnus formosana (Betulaceae) “Formosan alder”
Alnus glutinosa (Betulaceae) “Black alder”
Andromeda glaucophylla (Ericaceae) “Bog-rosemary”
Azadiracta indica (Meliaceae) “Neem”
Betula papyrifera (Betulaceae) “Paper birch”
Betula pendula (Betulaceae) “Silver birch”
Betula populifolia (Betulaceae) “Grey birch”
Bischofia javanica(Phyllanthaceae) “Bishop wood”
Castanea mollissima(Fagaceae) “Chinese chestnut”
Cinnamomum camphora (Lauraceae) “Camphor tree”
Cleyera japonica morii (Pentaphylacaceae) “Sasaki”
Cornus macrophylla(Cornaceae) “Eastern dogwood”
Corylus colurna(Betulaceae) “Turkish hazel”
Crataegus monogyna (Rosaceae) “Common hawthorn”
Elaeocarpus serratus(Elaeocarpaceae) “Serrate elaeocarpus”
Hibiscus syriacus (Malvaceae) “Rose mallow”
Juglans cinera (Juglandaceae) “Butternut”
Juglans nigra(Juglandaceae) “Black walnut”
Juglans regia(Juglandaceae) “English walnut”
Lagerstroemia indica (Lythraceae) “Crepe myrtle”
Lagerstroemia subcostata(Lythraceae) “Bao fan flower”
Lawsonia alba(Anacardiaceae) “Indian ash-tree”
Liquidambar formosana (Altingiaceae)”Chinese sweetgum”
Liquidambar styraciflua(Altingiaceae) “American sweetgum”
Lyonia ovalifolia (Eriaceae) “Sino-himalayan lyonia”
Malus asiatica (Rosaceae) “Chinese pearleaf crabapple”
Malus pumila(Rosaceae) “Apple”
Mangifera indica (Anacardiaceae) “Mango”
Prunus armeniaca (Rosaceae) “Armenian plum”
Prunus domestica(Rosaceae) “Cherry”
Prunus laurocerasus (Rosaceae) “Laurel cherry”
Prunus padus(Rosaceae) “Bird cherry”
Prunus serotina (Rosaceae) ”Black cherry”
Prunus sp. (Rosaceae)
Pterocarya stenoptera (Juglandaceae) “Chinese wingnut”
Pyracantha coccinea(Rosaceae) “Scarlet firethorn”
Pyrus communis(Rosaceae) “Pear”
Quercus alba (Fagaceae) “White oak”
Quercus ilex (Fagaceae) “Holly oak”
Quercus macrocarpa (Fagaceae) “Bur oak”
Quercus rubra (Fagaceae) “Red oak”
Quercus sp. (Fagaceae)
Rhododendron hirsutum (Ericaceae) “Hairy alpenrose”
Rhododendron sp. (Ericaceae)
Rhus glabra(Anacardiaceae) “White sumac”
Rhus typhina(Anacardiaceae) “Staghorn sumac”
Salix caprea (Salicaceae) “Great sallow”
Salix sp.(Saliaceae)
Sapium discolor (Euphorbiaceae) “Mountain tallow”
Sapium sebiferum (Euphorbiaceae) “Chinese tallow”
Zanthoxylum alatum (Rutaceae) “Winged prickly ash”

Recommendations: The amount of host plants the very polyphagous Actias ningpoana is willing to eat is large. There are potentially many unlisted or undiscovered host plants out there that could give good results in captivity, so experimentation may be worthwhile. However, due to their polyphagous habits, Actias ningpoana also accepts host plants in captivity that don’t give great results at all and may result in reduced vitality and a high mortality rate and/or smaller adults – but that are still listed because of their sheer willingness to feed on them. In captivity the best results are given by using walnut (Juglans), Sweetgum (Liquidambar), Rhododendron, certain types of cherry (Prunus), hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) and sumac (Rhus). In particular, black walnut (Juglans nigra) seems to give near optimal results and can be recommended. Liquidambar is another strong recommendation.

In the wild, the larva is often recorded on Lagerstroemia sp., Liquidambar formosana, Elaeocarpus, Cinnamomum camphora and Prunus, and these can be considered the “natural” host plants, although this polyphagous species can be found on a broad range of plants – and different geographical populations may feed on different food plants locally. Thus, this data may be incorrect because the moths use different local food plants in different localities.

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Citations: Coppens, B. 2019


The aim of this website is to provide information about many species of moths and butterflies around the world, with a slight focus on rearing them in captivity.

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