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Hyalophora, but  which one? - Hyalophora columbia

Hyalophora, but which one? - Hyalophora columbia
Montosa Cny, St Cruz County, Arizona, USA
July 31, 2008
Size: over 5 in wingspan
Found resting between the pads of a prickly pear cactus. We coaxed it onto a stick for the photo shoot

Images of this individual: tag all
Hyalophora, but  which one? - Hyalophora columbia Hyalophora, but  which one - Hyalophora columbia

Not Columbia
The Columbia Silkmoth is a moth of the north, this is a subspecies of it: Hyalophora columbia gloveri- Glover's Silkmoth.

Sure looks like Cecropia to me...
But I am certainly no expert. Some of the Hyalophora species look SOOO much alike. But I would guess Cecropia Moth. Most likely a male judging by those antenna.

Sure looks like...
Hyalophora Columbia to me...

After looking more closely...
What about Hyalophora Columbia? The lack of red on the crescent spots make me lean toward Columbia or a subspecies of Columbia.

This one here looks a lot like yours.

Interesting...will be nice to see what the experts have to say.

I was leaning towards H. columbia
because your first choice simply doesn't come this far west. Also, the H. columbia that you directed me to is from the direct neighbohod of my location.

Yes, shortly after I posted the first comment I had
a look at your location, and a better look at the image, and knew it wasn't Cecropia. Thats when Columbia occurred to me. I thought of deleting the first comment, but decided that admitting my wrong and correcting myself was probably better. ;)

But yeah, I say Columbia!

Hyalophora from Arizona
YES! is a variety of H. columbia (H. columbia gloveri to be exact).

F.Y.I. - Most Hyalophora populations/species are active between April and June, when the adults are seen flying around lights or encountered while out and about. Interestingly, Hyalophora populations in southern Arizona are, for the most part, temporally isolated from other Hyalophora populations during time of adult activity (i.e. flight and breeding). Populations in the Tucson area and south are seen later in the season - i.e. late July through early August. The flight window for southern AZ H. c. gloveri must be associated with the rainy season and not increasing spring temps as seen in most others. This would stand to reason since Hyalophora larvae have voracious appetites and need plenty of lush foliage to mature.

Although currently recognized as H. columbia gloveri there are a few other notable differences besides the flight season - size and color; the s. AZ material tends to be slightly larger and redder than specimens from other gloveri populations I've observed). Perhaps future taxonomic endeavors will reveal other more significant differences.


Thank you Bill,
we really were wondering how to distinguish the subspecies, and more importantly, how it stayed biologically isolated enough since ranges seem to be very close. Thank you for the explanation!

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