Currently viewing the category: "Giant Silk Moths"
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Subject: Moth identification?
Location: Southeastern Alabama
June 24, 2016 5:34 pm
Found this little guy parked below my mailbox this afternoon.
Signature: Kyle

Sweetbay Silkmoth, perhaps

Sweetbay Silkmoth, perhaps

Dear Kyle,
This is one of the Giant Silkmoths in the genus
Callosamia.  We believe it is the Sweetbay Silkmoth, Callosamia securifera, and according to BugGuide:  “This species is subject to some seasonal variation. Typically, the Spring forms are lighter and brighter and the summer generations are usually darker and/or more washed out in appearance.”

Bill Oehlke weighs in on identification:
Could be either angulifera or securifera. If encountered flying during the day, this male would definitely be securifera.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: large moth, approx. 2 inch wing span
Location: Northeast Pennsylvania
June 25, 2016 7:00 pm
found this on our slider, my husband knocked it off and it revealed inside wings..very pretty. We live in Effort, PA, Monroe County and it is summer time..June 25, 2016. Thinking it might be an Imperial moth, would appreciate further identification. After it was still, not moving, on the deck for a while, it moved to the bottom of the slider, then it’s wings started fluttering and then it took off.
Signature: Christine

Male Io Moth

Male Io Moth

Dear Christine,
This is a male Io Moth and your images nicely illustrate its protective mimicry.  Many Giant Silkmoths in the family Saturniidae, including your Io Moth, and some Sphinx Moths in the family Sphingidae have evolved an excellent survival strategy.  Markings on the underwings resemble eyespots and are known as ocelli.  When the moth is resting, the upper wings cover the underwings.  When disturbed, the moth reveals its underwings, flashing its eyes, potentially startling a predator like a bird into thinking it has awakened a sleeping giant.  Io Moths have also evolved to exhibit sexual dimorphism, meaning the two sexes have obvious visible differences.  Female Io Moths have brown upper wings.

Male Io Moth

Male Io Moth

Thank you very much for the information Daniel!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large moth
Location: Collegeville., PA
June 25, 2016 9:19 am
This was at my sons door in Collegeville, PA this week
Signature: Dave C

Polyphemus Moth

Polyphemus Moth

Dear Dave,
This beauty is a Polyphemus Moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this moth
Location: Florida
June 23, 2016 4:48 am
I found this moth outside and I don’t know what kind it is
Signature: Nicholas Warren

Male Io Moth

Male Io Moth

Dear Nicholas,
This is a Male Io Moth,
Automeris io, one of the Giant Silk Moths in the family Saturniidae, arguably the largest and showiest family of moths in the world.  There was a heavy emphasis on Greek mythology when many of the species in the family were named, and the Io Moth takes its name from the goddess Io that you may read about on Greek Mythology.  The Io moth is sexually dimorphic:  Males have yellow upper wings while female Io Moths have brown upper wings.  Like all Giant Silkmoths, Io Moths do not eat as adults.  Many Giant Silkmoths have oculi or eyespots on their underwings.  The moths rest with the upper wings covering the underwings, and when disturbed, they “open their eyes” which may startle a predator like a bird into perceiving it is about to be eaten by a much larger predator, which causes it to flee rather than to eat the tasty moth. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Luna Moth
Location: Bridgeton, Maine
June 21, 2016 4:36 pm
Found this guy on the cement next to a gas pump. Was still alive thankfully. He or she also did not judge me for pumping $40.01…
Signature: Dave

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

Dear Dave,
We suspect this Luna Moth was probably attracted to the lights at the all night gas station, and then remained after the sunrise.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: moth id please
Location: Baltimore, MD
June 9, 2016 4:47 am
I saw this on my way into the building this morning. Wondering if you can help me ID it.
Signature: Scott Powell

Cecropia Moth

Cecropia Moth

Dear Scott,
This beautiful creature is a Cecropia Moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination