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Ceanothus Silkmoth (Hyalophora euryalus)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Ceanothus Silkmoth

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Image Credit: Laurie P.
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Image Credit: Laurie P.
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A moth with many similar-looking relatives, the Ceanothus Silkmoth can fill the palm of an adult's hand.

Updated: 01/26/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Insect antennae icon
Flying insect icon
Patterned insect icon
Rounded insect body icon
Striped or banded insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Saturniidae
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          Genus: Hyalophora
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            Species: euryalus
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Hyalophora euryalus
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 89mm to 127mm (3.50" to 5.00")
Colorwheel Graphic 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

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 89mm (3.5in) and 127mm (5.0in)
Lo: 89mm
Md: 108mm
Hi: 127mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Ceanothus Silkmoth may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Ceanothus Silkmoth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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