As Big as my hand butterfly or moth?
June 10, 2010
Found June 10, 2010
I have no idea about identifying bugs but this wonderful giant was on my back porch and i can’t help myself with the curiosity. Its body is what was the most striking instead of the wings. It is extremely bright red with white stripes.
Please relieve my curiosity!
Hannibal, Missouri

Cecropia Moth

Hi Kasey,
This is a positively gorgeous photo of a Cecropia Moth.  It is one of two candidates for the largest Giant Silkmoth or Saturniid Moth in North America.  The other candidate is the Polyphemus Moth.  Luckily, in the world of insects, the loser and winner contests like that could care less which is the biggest.  Alas, the world of academia is not so altruistic.
P.S.  She is a female Cecropia Moth.  Had we written back to you sooner, we would have told you to watch an night to see if she attracted a mate or six.  Female Giant Silkmoths release pheromones that will attract a male from miles away.  We identified her as a female because of her antennae.  The antennae of the male Giant Silkmoths are much more feathery, because the antennae are the sense organs that pick up the scent of the female’s pheromones.

5 Responses to Cecropia Moth

  1. kdr647 says:

    Thank you so much! I was so curious about “her” because she showed up a couple more times. Unfortunately she left at nights but she would visit me during the days and was so beautiful every time she did.
    P.S. sad new. I say “was” and “did” because I found her in the yard the other morning where a predator of some kind did enough damage to end her life span. Thank you though for relieving my curiosity. I plan, as an artist, to pay more attention to the micro world that I was just introduced to.

  2. cindy casady says:

    what size is the largest one of these on record

    • bugman says:

      Large Cecropia Moths can reach six inches, and we imagine really large ones can exceed that upper number in the normal size range.

  3. M Antonini says:

    What do they eat?

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