Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Eupackardia calleta (Westwood)
Orig. Comb: Saturnia calleta Westwood, 1853
usually 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.
se. Arizona, w. & s. Texas / n. Mexico - Map
AZ: July-Sept (monsoon season)
TX: Sept-May (MPG)
Arizona hosts are usually Mexican Jumping Bean Sapium biloculare and Ocitillo Fouquieria splendens.
The primary Texas host is the ornamental shrub Texas Ranger Leucophyllum frutescens
, Citrus, Texas Barometer Bush
), ash (Fraxinus velutina
, Fraxinus greggii
), Arrow Poison Plant
(Sebastiania bilocularis [=Sapium biloculare]
), Sallix humboltiana
, Zanthoxylum fagara
, Boojum trees.
"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 spp. (esp. Prunus serotina)
Privet, Ligustrum sinensis
Some Willows, Salix spp.
males are diurnal, females nocturnal. Possible mimics of toxic Pipevine Swallowtales Battus philenor (1)
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
Later 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)
*Some Central American populations are reported to be nocturnal in breeding habits with males responding to virgin females after sunset.
Cocoons are used as ankle rattles by American Indians during ceremonial dances (1)
Cocoons on Ocotillo are generally found at the base of the plant (1)
Eupackardia is most closely allied to Rothschildia
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).
Ferguson, D.C., 1972. The Moths of America North of Mexico, Fascicle 20.2b
. The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation, p. 230; pl. 21, figs. 1-3. (2)
Powell, J.A. & P.A. Opler, 2009. Moths of Western North America
. University of California Press, pl. 38, fig. 1; p. 241. (3)