The nocturnal Forbes' Silk Moth is a rare sight to behold in part to its late-night activity, large wingspan, handsome pattern, and small range.
Forbes' Silk Moth is a part of the Saturniidae family, home to some of the largest moths in North America. This species has a limited range, despite its grand size, and has only been seen in southern Texas and Mexico. Its rounded wings have four large transparent spots on them, two on each side. For this reason, its Spanish name is Cuatro Espejos meaning "four mirrors". The dark brown interior of the wings is bordered with a light brown and edged with a creamy white rim. They rest with wings flat.
Caterpillars are white, black, and yellow. White fleshy bodies have thick black bands studded with yellow bumps that are topped with spiky hairs. After feeding on leaves of ash and willow trees, they pupate and become winged adults. Two generations a year are produced with adults on-the-wing in early spring and again in mid-autumn.
Scientific Name: Rothschilida forbesi
Other Name(s): Cuatro Espejos
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 110mm to 125mm (4.29in to 4.88in)
Colors: brown, white, red, orange, black
Descriptors: four, spots, marks, night, nocturnal, rounded, flying, large, big
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.