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

Calendar

TaxonomyBrowse
Info
ImagesLinksBooksData

Species Automeris io - Io Moth - Hodges#7746

Catapillars on a Plum Leaf - Automeris io Small Orange Caterpillars - Automeris io Io Moth eggs - Automeris io Automeris io UnknownCaterpillar12 - Automeris io IO - Automeris io Possible Io type caterpillar - Automeris io early instar caterpillars on Basswood - Automeris io
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 Hemileucinae (Buck and Io Moths)
Tribe Hemileucini
Genus Automeris
Species io (Io Moth - Hodges#7746)
Hodges Number
7746
Other Common Names
Peacock Moth
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Automeris io (Fabricius, 1775)
Several subspecies have been described but few remain distinct under current classifications.
Phylogenetic sequence #225500
Numbers
Seven Automeris species are found in America north of Mexico.
Size
Wingspan 5-8cm (1)
Caterpillars may grow to 7cm (2)
Identification
White filled, black and blue eyespots are hindwing are distinctive. Overall color varies from reddish to yellowish. Males (below left) are yellower, females (below right) redder.

Caterpillars gregarious in early instars, starting out orange then maturing to pale blue-green with clusters of spines and a red line along each side with white underneath.:
Range
Much of the eastern two-thirds of North America.
Moth Photographers Group - large range map with some collection locations and dates.
Season
This species is univoltine on Block Island, RI, flying in June and July.(3)
Food
Numerous plants and trees, including birches, clover, corn, elms, maples, oaks, willows, roses, cotton, hibiscus, azaleas, palms, and even some grasses (Featured Creatures)(1)
Life Cycle
Larva are gregarious early on, but go it alone as they mature. They leave the hostplant to form a papery cocoon, usually in leaf litter. There may be up to four generations in the south, but usually just one in the north. (Featured Creatures)



Overwinter as pupae in tough, brown, oval cocoon often covered with bits of dead leaves and other debris on the ground(4)
Remarks
Caution, larva may "sting" if handled. The larger the caterpillar the more intense the stinging sensation caused by the urticating spines.
Print References
Covell, page 49, plates 1 (#12), 2 (#5), 10 (#2,#4) (1)
Peterson's First Guides, Caterpillars, page 120 (2)
National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects & Spiders, photos 27, 566, page 771 (5)
Manley, T.R. 1993. Diapause, voltinism, and foodplants of Automeris io (Saturniidae) in the southeastern United States. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 47(4): 303-321
Internet References
Detailed info from Featured Creatures at the University of Florida
Live photos, both sexes, at Maryland Moths
Works Cited
1.Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Moths
Charles V. Covell. 1984. Houghton Mifflin Company.
2.Peterson First Guide to Caterpillars of North America
Amy Bartlett Wright. 1998. Houghton Mifflin Company.
3.Block Island Moths
4.Eastern Forest Insects
Whiteford L. Baker. 1972. U.S. Department of Agriculture · Forest Service.
5.National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders
Lorus and Margery Milne. 1980. Knopf.