Subject: Attacus Caesar Moth
Geographic location of the bug: Northern Cebu
Time: 11:06 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hi,
I am a moth enthusiast, I believe that this is an Attacus Caesar moth. It has landed on my diving vest, on my balcony at the edge of the jungle in Northern Cebu, Philippines.
How you want your letter signed: HABSgirl
According to The Saturniidae of the Philippines, there are four species in the genus Attacus reported from The Philippines: “Attacus atlas (Linnaeus, 1758), Attacus caesar Maassen, 1873, Attacus lorquinii C. & R. Felder, 1861, Attacus lemairei Peigler, 1985” but the site does not provide any images. Of the images posted to Philippine Lepidoptera, the species that look most like your individual are male Attacus lemairei and Attacus lorquinii, though both seem to exhibit considerable variability. The location of your sighting might not be a factor because according to zobodat: “these huge species are very popular with amateur entomologists and traders, easy to rear (and regularly reared in big numbers), traded in large numbers (but not at all endangered thereby), polyphagous and usually capable to survive in secondary and agricultural landscape of the non-industrial type, and obviously will thrive well under tropical and subtropical climate nearly everywhere in the wild in SE Asia. This, consequently, may well have resulted in several populations being set free in the wild at the ‘wrong’ places, often in or near cities.” That stated, we are turning to Bill Oehlke to enlist his expertise.
Bill Oehlke Responds:
I am not sure but I would go with Attacus philippina, which, at one time, was considered a synonym of lorquinii. Second choice would be lorquinii.