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Family Saturniidae - Giant Silkworm and Royal Moths

First and fourth instars - Callosamia promethea Pupation Preparation - Citheronia regalis Bright green, orange-brown headed cat - Antheraea polyphemus Big, Beautiful Caterpillar! - Antheraea polyphemus Caterpillar - Eacles imperialis Large transluscent green CAT - Antheraea polyphemus Pink striped oakworm - Anisota virginiensis unknown found near kids - Eacles imperialis
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
No Taxon (Moths)
Superfamily Bombycoidea
Family Saturniidae (Giant Silkworm and Royal Moths)
Explanation of Names
Named after the type genus, Saturnia, which was itself named after Juno, the queen of the gods in Roman mythology. One of her other names was Saturnia, because she was daughter of the god Saturn.
Size
Largest moths in our area, some have a 150 mm wingspan. The smallest ones have a wingspan of a little over 25 mm.
Identification
Check out this article to see thumbnails of all the giant silkworm and royal moths together on one page.
Range
The greatest variety occurs in the Neotropics, with some in other world regions.
Habitat
Mostly tropical and subtropical.
Food
Larvae feed on a wide range of plants. Adults do not feed.
Life Cycle
Most overwinter as pupae and have only one generation a year.
Adults live a very short period as they do not feed and only reproduce.
Remarks
Some are serious defoliators.
A few Asiatic species have been used for commercial silk production. The North American ones haven't proved useful.
Internet References
Moths of Southeastern Arizona live and pinned images of various life stages of 26 species, plus common names for each, but classification follows Hodges checklist of 1983, now outdated (Bruce Walsh, U. of Arizona)
pinned adult image thumbnails of 21 species occurring in Canada (CBIF)