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

Species Automeris io - Io Moth - Hodges#7746

Unknown eggs in May- update 4 - Automeris io Caterpillar - Automeris io Caterpillar - Automeris io Orange caterpillar - Automeris io Found on our wood box - Automeris io Automeris io - Io Moth - Automeris io io - Automeris io Eggs ID request - Automeris io
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 Hemileucinae (Buck and Io Moths)
Tribe Hemileucini
Genus Automeris
Species io (Io Moth - Hodges#7746)
Hodges Number
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
Seven Automeris species are found in America north of Mexico.
Wingspan 5-8cm (1)
Caterpillars may grow to 7cm (2)
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.:
Much of the eastern two-thirds of North America.
Moth Photographers Group - large range map with some collection locations and dates.
Flies May to September (1)
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)

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 (3)
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
Photos, some live, some pinned, both sexes, and a larval image at Georgia Lepidoptera
Live photos, both sexes, at Maryland Moths
Caterpillar account from Caterpillars of Eastern Forests
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.National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders
Lorus and Margery Milne. 1980. Knopf.