Giant Silkmoth from Costa Rica: Xanthodirphia amarilla

Subject: Yellow and red moth from Costa Rica
Location: Northeastern Costa Rica
August 8, 2016 2:36 am
Here is another fairly striking moth that I haven’t been able to put a name to.
It was taken in lowland forest, at the La Suerte Biolgical Station, in northeastern Costa Rica, on July 18, 2009.
Thanks in advance
Signature: Thibaud Aronson

Giant Silkmoth: Xanthodirphia amarilla
Giant Silkmoth: Xanthodirphia amarilla

Hi again Thibaud,
We started with the World’s Largest Saturniidae Site and we found several mounted specimens representing
Xanthodirphia amarilla, but no images of living individuals.  The World’s Largest Sturniidae Site states:  “Males come in to lights readily, but females are seldom taken at lights.”  The markings on your individual look like it is most likely a male.  We did locate a few images of a live individual on the Gallery Kunzweb site.  When especially nice images like your own are submitted to us, we frequently contact Bill Oehlke who maintains an excellent database of both Saturniids and Sphingids for verification, and we also request permission for Bill Oehlke to post the images.  We hope you will allow Bill to use this lovely image of an equally lovely moth. 

Bill Oehlke Comments
Thanks, Daniel,
It could be either Xanthodirphia abbreviata or Xanthodirphia amarilla. Describers of abbreviata indicate forewing is always less than 4cm long  while that of amarilla is always greater than 4cm.
The type specimen of abbreviata shows yellow specimen with grey brown markings and relatively small median field. In same publication, amarilla is also yellow but with more reddish brown markings and a larger median field (am and pm lines not  so close together), so I favour amarilla.
Bill Oehlke

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