What is this Moth?
Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 2:29 PM
this moth was hanging on the window screen of our house from about 7am when i first noticed it, and was there all day and disappeared sometime in the night after 11pm. it was almost 5 inches wide (as seen in the picture) and very rusty/red. we live about an hours drive south of San Fransisco, California, and about a 30 minute drive from the beach. our house is in the Santa Cruz mountains, about 600ft elevation. this is easily the biggest and most colorful moth I’ve seen (although I’m only 17 and havent seen much) and i would love to know what it is
Redwood Forest, in the mountains, near the ocean
Congratulations on your sighting of a Ceanothus Silk Moth, Hyalophora euryalus, one of the Giant Silk Moths. It is wonderful that you included both and open winged and closed winged shot and also that your included a ruler. All of this will assist our West Coast readers who should begin sighting this moth now that spring is approaching. According to BugGuide: “adults fly from January to July, depending on altitude, latitude, and seasonal variation” and the species ranges from “British Columbia to western Montana, south through west coast states to Baja California. In California, found mostly west of the Sierras. Habitat coastal areas, chaparral, intermontane valleys, conifer forests.” The caterpillars feed on a variety of leaves including the California lilac or Ceanothus. Adults do not feed.