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  • Cecropia Silk Moth - (Hyalophora cecropia)

    Cecropia Silk Moth - (Hyalophora cecropia)

    In addition to size, the Cecropia Silkmoth, North America's largest native moth, boasts brilliant colors, distinctive patterns, and curvy shapes.

    Staff Writer (8/1/2017): The sheer size of the Cecropia Silkmoth amazes observers. This native moth can cover the palm of a large hand with a wingspan of about 15 cm (~6 inches). Caterpillars have 5 instars, each with a slightly different appearance. Early caterpillars are completely black with black spiky hairs. They become yellow with black hairs and dots, then green with black hairs and dots, and later green with yellow bumps where black spikes emerge. Mature caterpillars are a plump and fleshy, bright green with light blue thorns where the bumps used to be. They do not look related to each other let alone their adult form with its red legs and furry body. A silk cocoon forms on the stem of a host plant and the magnificent winged adult emerges. Hosts include a variet of popular trees like maple, willow, oak,and pine as well as other flowering plants like honeysuckle.

    Threats to the population of Cecropia Moths include a parasite that eats caterpillars from the inside out, viral pathogens, hungry squirrels, pollution, inadvertent insecticide poisoning, and habitat loss due to urbanization.

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    Details of the:
    Cecropia Silk Moth

    Category: Butterfly or Moth
    Common name: Cecropia Silk Moth
    Scientific Name: Hyalophora cecropia
    Other Names: Cecropia Moth, Robin Moth

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Lepidoptera
          Family: Saturniidae
           Genus: Hyalophora
            Species: cecropia

    Size (Adult, Length): 110mm to 150mm (4.33in to 5.91in)

    Identifying Colors: brown, gray, white, black, blue, ivory, rust

    Additional Descriptors: large, eyespots, flying

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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