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  • Imperial Moth - (Eacles imperialis)

    Imperial Moth - (Eacles imperialis)

    Imperial Moths are bright and beautiful members of a family known for its giants.

    Staff Writer (9/18/2017): Few moths have both the size and colors of the Imperial Moth. That said, the two genders tend to have different ratios of yellow coloring making it possible to think they are different species. Females have more yellow, while males have larger blotches of pink/purple on their wings.

    Once the Imperial Moth actually pupates into a winged adult, it has a rather short life span. In fact, adults do not eat. Instead, they focus all energy and attention to mating before dying.

    As members of the Giant Silkworm Moth family, Imperial Moths are relatives to the largest known moths in North America. Their caterpillar forms a hard, brown chrysalis when ready to pupate. In fact, the majority of the Imperial Moth's life is spent pupating, so caterpillars spend a lot of time looking for a safe place to plant themselves as they are utterly defenseless against predators during that time. Their caterpillars are green or brown and quite spiky. White spots with black rings around them line the sides of their bodies, one per 'segment'. They feast on pine needles, oak, sweetgum and maple leaves.

    A first generation of adults emerges in early spring giving time for a possible second generation to arise later in the summer in warmer climates. Imperial Moth adults are extremely attracted to lights, which is causing their numbers to decline. They remain visible to predators, like birds, in the light and are eaten, sometimes before having a chance to breed. Artificial illumination at night, like exterior house lights, street lamps and urban light pollution, are creating swaths of habitat that are now void of Imperial Moths.

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    Details of the:
    Imperial Moth

    Category: Butterfly or Moth
    Common name: Imperial Moth
    Scientific Name: Eacles imperialis

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Lepidoptera
          Family: Saturniidae
           Genus: Eacles
            Species: imperialis

    Size (Adult, Length): 80mm to 175mm (3.15in to 6.89in)

    Identifying Colors: yellow, pink, purple, gray, orange, brown, white

    Additional Descriptors: flying, large, feathery, furry, eyespot

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Arizona; Arkansas; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; 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; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * 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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