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Species Eupackardia calleta - Calleta Silkmoth - Hodges#7763

Calleta Larva Pupating - Eupackardia calleta Calleta Silkmoth - Hodges #7763 - Eupackardia calleta - female Giant Silkworm Moth - Eupackardia calleta extraordinary caterpillar; i.d. help please - Eupackardia calleta Eupackardia calleta Large Moth - Eupackardia calleta Giant black moth - Eupackardia calleta - male Eupackardia calleta
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
Species calleta (Calleta Silkmoth - Hodges#7763)
Hodges Number
7763
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Eupackardia calleta (Westwood)
Orig. Comb: Saturnia calleta Westwood, 1853
Size
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.
Identification
Range
se. Arizona, w. & s. Texas / n. Mexico - Map (MPG)
Season
AZ: July-Sept (monsoon season)
TX: Sept-May (MPG)
Food
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.(1) Also Cenizo, Citrus, Texas Barometer Bush (Leucophyllum frutescens), ash (Fraxinus velutina, Fraxinus greggii), Arrow Poison Plant (Sebastiania bilocularis [=Sapium biloculare]), Sallix humboltiana, Zanthoxylum fagara, Boojum trees.

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 spp. (esp. Prunus serotina)
Privet, Ligustrum sinensis
Some Willows, Salix spp.
Life Cycle
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.
Remarks
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).
Print References
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)