Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Automeris io (Fabricius, 1775)
Several subspecies have been described but few remain distinct under current classifications.
Phylogenetic sequence #225500
Seven Automeris species are found in America north of Mexico.
Caterpillars may grow to 7cm (2)
White filled, black and blue eyespots are hindwing are distinctive. Overall color varies from reddish to yellowish. Males (below left) are yellower, females (below right) redder.
Caterpillars gregarious in early instars, starting out orange then maturing to pale blue-green with clusters of spines and a red line along each side with white underneath.:
Much of the eastern two-thirds of North America.
Moth Photographers Group
- large range map with some collection locations and dates.
Numerous plants and trees, including birches, clover, corn, elms, maples, oaks, willows, roses, cotton, hibiscus, azaleas, palms, and even some grasses (Featured Creatures
Larva are gregarious early on, but go it alone as they mature. They leave the hostplant to form a papery cocoon, usually in leaf litter. There may be up to four generations in the south, but usually just one in the north. (Featured Creatures
Caution, larva may "sting" if handled. The larger the caterpillar the more intense the stinging sensation caused by the urticating spines.
Covell, page 49, plates 1 (#12), 2 (#5), 10 (#2,#4) (1)
Peterson's First Guides, Caterpillars, page 120 (2)
National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects & Spiders, photos 27, 566, page 771 (3)
Manley, T.R. 1993. Diapause, voltinism, and foodplants of Automeris io
(Saturniidae) in the southeastern United States. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 47(4): 303-321
from Featured Creatures at the University of Florida
, some live, some pinned, both sexes, and a larval image at Georgia Lepidoptera
, both sexes, at Maryland Moths
from Caterpillars of Eastern Forests