According to All-Leps
, there are 2 subspecies in our area:
Automeris cecrops cecrops and Automeris cecrops pamina
Adult wingspan: 8 - 10.6 cm
In adults, the line running from the tip of the front wing to the middle of the hind margin will separate it from A. io, which has a line or division in the pattern that is parallel to the outer margin instead, not extending from the tip of the wing.
Young larvae of A. io (mostly found on Willow) usually have a less contrasting pattern of slightly more parallel stripes. Older larvae of A. cecrops (usually found on Oak) have a gray-green (almost bluish) contrasted with black stripes, and are deep red-brown/black below; while older larvae of A. io are usually yellowish to bright green with a reddish & white stripe along each side, not deep red-brown/black below.
A. zephyria occurs a bit further east and probably never in the same places (??). The adults differ primarily in the brighter and more contrasting color pattern. The young larvae are very similar and best distinguished by where found (east of the Rio Grande). Older larvae of A. zephyria have a slightly different pattern, and are a bright yellow-green instead of dull gray-green.
Mostly in mountains from central Arizona to north central New Mexico, and south into Mexico. Not known from east of the Rio Grande, where it is replaced by closely related A. zephyria.
Larvae: Fendler ceanothus (Ceanothus fendleri), catclaw mimosa (Mimosa biuncifera), mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus parvifolius), and oaks (Quercus).
Adults do not feed.
Additional wild host plant observations in Jemez Mountains, New Mexico by David J. Ferguson:
Salix interior (= exigua); Rosa sp., Robinia neomexicana, Ceanothus fendleri, Populus tremuloides; Prunus virginiana; Cercocarpus montanus & ledifolius; however, primarily on Oaks - Quercus gambelii, grisea, & untulata/pungens. [Q. undulata & Q. pungens are not well differentiated in New Mexico, plants will key out to both.]
The larvae will accept many other woody dicot species as food when being reared.