Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Giving Tuesday

Do you use BugGuide? Please consider a monetary gift on this Giving Tuesday.

Your donation to BugGuide is tax-deductible.

Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

National Moth Week was July 23-31, 2022! See moth submissions.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Subspecies Rothschildia lebeau forbesi - Forbes' Silkmoth

Forbes' Silkmoth - Rothschildia lebeau Ova - rothschildia lebeau forbesi - Forbes' Silkmoth eggs - Rothschildia lebeau Forbes' Silkmoth  - Rothschildia lebeau Rothschildia forbesi? - Rothschildia lebeau Rothschildia forbesi cocoon? - Rothschildia lebeau  Rothschildia lebeau forbesi  - Rothschildia lebeau Forbes Silk Moth - Rothschildia lebeau UnknownMoth1 - Rothschildia lebeau
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
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 Rothschildia
Species lebeau (Rothschildia lebeau - Hodges#7761)
Subspecies forbesi (Forbes' Silkmoth)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Rothschildia lebeau forbesi Benjamin, 1934 (1)
Explanation of Names
Rothschildia lebeau forbesi Benjamin, 1934, formerly treated as full species in the 1983 Hodges Checklist following Ferguson (1972), is returned to subspecies status by Tuskes et al. (1996) following Lemaire (1978). All other subspecies of lebeau are found south of the United States.
Wingspan 10-12.5 cm
Very large silk moth found only in South Texas.
Transparent triangular spots on the wings. Wings reddish brown to dark brown with olive tinge.
Hidalgo & Cameron Co., TX / Mex. - Map (MPG); Fairly common, especially around Brownsville. (2)
February-April, September-November (two flights in Texas)
Life Cycle
Larvae feed on several trees/shrubs, such as Ash (Fraxinus), prickly ash (Zanthoxylum), and willow (Salix).
Adults may take two or three years before emerging from the pupa. (2)
Differences in DNA barcode would seem to better support full species status, comment by Steve Nanz (11/2/2019).
Two other species in this genus rarely enter into s. Texas: Jorulla silkmoth (R. jorulla) and Orizaba silkmoth (R. orizaba)
R. cincta was recorded from the Brownsville area ca. 1900. (2)
NOTE: Records for Rothschildia jorulla/cincta in s. TX are based on the same taxon (i.e. listed as R. jorulla cincta)
Print References
Tuskes, pp. 187-188, plates 24--adult, 5-larva (1)
Works Cited
1.The Wild Silk Moths of North America: A Natural History of the Saturniidae of the United States and Canada
Paul M. Tuskes, James P. Tuttle, Michael M. Collins. 1996. Cornell University Press.
2.Illustrated Checklist of the Lepidoptera of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas, Vol. 2B: Macro-Moths
Ed Knudson & Charles Bordelon. 2004. Texas Lepidoptera Survey, Houston. xiv + 59 pp. 20 plates.
3.North American Moth Photographers Group
4.BOLD: The Barcode of Life Data Systems