What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Cecropia probably, but which one?
Location: South of France, Europe
July 4, 2011 5:04 pm
This afternoon in our allotment in the South of France (4 july 2011) we almost stepped on this gorgeous giant. I think that it’s possibly a member of the ”Cecropia”-family but ours seems to be yellower and has only cyan dots, no other colours. Can you tell us more?
Signature: Kristi

Great Peacock Moth Caterpillar

Hi Kristi,
We identified your caterpillar on the World’s Largest Saturniidae Site as the Great Peacock Moth,
Saturnia pyri, and we are providing a link to the Saturniidae of Europe site on the species.  The range is listed as:  “Limited to the warmer areas of Europe and the Near East, from northern France (rare) south through Luxembourg, western Switzerland, the Iberian Peninsular to costal regions of Morocco and Algeria. Thence eastwards across southern Germany (rare), Austria, Hungary, the Balkans to the Ukraine. From here it extends southwards across the Caucasus Mountains and Armenia to Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the Alborz and Zagros Mountains of Iran. It is also found on the Mediterranean islands of Crete, Corsica and Sardinia.”  Czechoslovakia issued a nice stamp of the moth and caterpillar in 1987.

Postage stamp from Czechoslovakia

Romania also issued a stamp depicting this lovely moth.

Postage Stamp from Romania

Dear Daniel
Thanks so much for the identification!
We’re lost in admiration for what you guys are pulling off: fantastic site, great service (also to the bugs;-)
Spend the whole evening browsing, oohh-ing and ahhh-ing and developing a guilty feeling about all the wasps I’ve send to wasp heaven (I promise, no more irrational killing)
thank you for the stamps too, they’re lovely.
keep up the good work,
many regards,

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: France

23 Responses to Great Peacock Moth Caterpillar from France

  1. fourbob1 says:

    I had this beautiful caterpillar in my garden yesterday, only recognised by your site. It was a wonderful thing to see. I live in France in the Deux Sevre . Never ever seen anything like it. fourbob

  2. Jenny Hill says:

    I have also found this to be the only site where i could ID this caterpillar. Many thanks, Jen

  3. When we were playing in the garden, we came across this Great Peacock Moth Caterpillar climbing up the wall of the swimming pool. All the kids were intrigued and we were able to identify it on your site-thank you. We are situated in Chatellerault, 86100, Vienne, France.

  4. Hohmann says:

    The great peacock moth doesn’t exist in Germany! It also does not exist in northern france, in luxembourg it is extinct.
    But in parts of switzerland and austria this moth lives.


  5. Nigel says:

    Two of theses on villa wall Alonissos, Sporades, Greece. Impressive!

  6. samuel shaw says:

    Found one today in the garden. Haute Vienne 87360. 06/08/2016

  7. Mandy Moat says:

    Seen at Argenton-les-Vallées (79150), Deux-Sèvres 6th August 2016.

  8. Michael says:

    Saw one today in Greece Rhodes. Are they poisonous? To touch? Very lovely thing

  9. Lynne Petts says:

    We have one in our garden yesterday. Very LARGE!!! This is the second time we have found one. We live in Dept 24. The grandchildren were very interested in finding out what it changes into. Thanks

  10. Pat Andrewartha says:

    Hi, saw one in our garden in Brittany in July (managed to photograph it too).

  11. simon lewandowski says:

    saw one last week in Chatillon en Diois, Central France.

  12. Jane White says:

    This is not for the faint-hearted I’m afraid, but I’ve just taken a couple of photos of a massive, and magnificent, but unfortunately dead moth I just found on the road. I’m 100% sure it’s a Great Peacock moth, but I seem to live much further North of their reported range. I live in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (78700). I’d be happy to share the photos But I’m not sure how to post them here.

  13. Philip says:

    We’ve seen two on a cherry tree on Elba. While having breakfast they were wandering around the terrace. Lizzards showed up and approached them. To eat them? The lizzards ran of anyway, seemingly impressed of their size. Yesterday in bed I heard some high pitched solitary chirping outside. Was that the

    Great info here!

  14. Katy says:

    Just found a caterpillar at our gite in southern France. We’re near Cahors in the Lot region

  15. Sue Harvey says:

    Seen in Boussac central France. July 2019

  16. Gina says:

    HI I have one in my garden now, it was a caterpillar 2 days ago and is now a pupa. I watch every day to see what is happening. We saw one emerging about 14 years ago and didn’t know what it was. We are in Morbihan, the south of Brittany.

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