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Genus Eupackardia

Eupackardia calleta - female Eupackardia calleta - male 2011 Mar 06 Eupackardia calleta.jpg  - Eupackardia calleta D'Hanis Caterpillar - Eupackardia calleta Calleta Silkmoth  - Eupackardia calleta Calleta Silkmoth  - Eupackardia calleta Calleta silkmoth - Eupackardia calleta Giant black moth - Eupackardia calleta - male
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Bombycoidea (Silkworm, Sphinx, and Royal Moths)
Family Saturniidae (Giant Silkworm and Royal Moths)
Subfamily Saturniinae (Silkmoths)
Tribe Attacini
Genus Eupackardia
Size
Variable:
Size varies from region to region and between genders - with females typically being larger.

The average range in size for specimens collected in the USA is 3 to 4 inches in wing span (~on par with Callosamia spp).

Some specimens have been reported to exceed 5 inches, particularly those from Central America. Specimens from Mexico, Guatemala, & Honduras can be quite large - with some individuals approaching cecropia in size.
Range
Honduras & Guatemala north through Mexico into the southern parts of the USA (AZ & TX)

USA:
s. Texas
sw. New Mexico - few isolated reports, Hidalgo Co. (per. comm.)
s. Arizona (2 distinct populations occur in AZ with some differences in host plant preferences, flight times and slight physical traits.)
Habitat
Usually associated with arid scrub & deserts (Some "wet forest" forms are found in Central America)
Low coastal lomas of se. TX
High desert to "mid-mountain" elevations in s. AZ
Season
Variable

Usually bivoltine (2 broods per season) in TX
Usually bivoltine (2 broods per season) in the Sonoran region of AZ (Pima, Santa Cruz and Cochise Counties, AZ)
Univoltine or sporadic in the Organ Pipe region of S. Arizona
Food
Variable
"Wild Hosts" include:
Ash, Fraxinus spp.
Ceniza, Leucophyllum frutescens
Mexican jumping bean, Sapium biloculare
Ocotillo, Fouquieria splendens
In captivity, the follwoing hosts are accepted:
Cherry, Prunus sp. (esp. Prunus serotina)
Privet, Ligustrum sinensis
Some Willows, Salix spp.
Life Cycle
Adults usually emerge in the late afternoon thru evening
Females call males in the early morning between 7:00am-Noon (mating occurs at this time)
Female moths take flight after sunset and immediately begin laying eggs the same day
Eggs are often deposited in rows or small groups on both surfaces of host plant leaves and stems
Early instar larvae (1st-3rd) feed gregariously
Laster instar larvae (4th & 5th) are usually solitary
The cocoon is usually attached to a twig of the host or nearby plants, rarely if ever incorporates leaves, and is often spun low or tucked away in the shade (often found at base of host plants)
Remarks
Monotypic (one species recognized)
The Genus Eupackardia is most closely allied to the Genus Rothschildia (to which it may belong).

Some Central American populations are reported to be nocturnal in breeding habits.

Given the range, noted habitats, flight times, hosts, and slight physical variations among populations from across the range (esp. as pertains to the larvae), it has been considered by some, the taxon "Eupackardia calleta" may involve more than one species - or at the very least, divergent "subspecies" (?? - additional studies at the molecular level are likely required to substantiate).
Internet References