A moth with many similar-looking relatives, the Ceanothus Silkmoth can fill the palm of an adult's hand.
Ceanothus Silkmoths look a lot like Cecropia and Columbia Silkmoths. A large amount of variation exists in color and pattern of this species, so it is difficult to identify even among its own kind. This species even has subspecies that reflect hybridization. Besides its huge wingspan, other attractive features on this moth include eyespots at the wing tips, a wide band of color along the edge of the wings that can have shades of purple and pink in it, and a bright white mark on the hindwing that resembles a long, pointy comma. The bulbous body has orange and white stripes and the antennae are comb-like.
Caterpillars eat leaves from a wide range of trees like alder, birch, cherry, gooseberry, manzanita, maple, serviceberry, and willow. Because their diet is varied, this moth and its larvae can be found in a variety of habitats like woodlands and chaparral, as well as coastal areas. Look for adults when weather begins to warm and for caterpillars a few months after that.
Scientific Name: Hyalophora euryalus
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 89mm to 127mm (3.47in to 4.95in)
Colors: brown; white; orange; purple; pink; maroon; black
Descriptors: white pointed comma; wing tip eyespot; pink border; huge; big rounded wings; comb antennae; orange white striped body; flying
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.