Giant Silkmoth from Trinidad: Copaxa marona

Subject: Moth, Trinidad
Location: Asa Wright, Trinidad
March 1, 2016 1:37 pm
Hi, we found this moth at the Asa Wright center on Trinidad in February. It was about 4 inches across. I’ve been searching but haven’t yet found anything quite like it.
Signature: Anne

Giant Silkmoth: Copaxa decrescens
Giant Silkmoth: Copaxa marona

Dear Anne,
This Giant Silkmoth is in the genus
Copaxa, and on the World’s Largest Saturniidae site, it most closely resembles Copaxa decrescens, though it is not listed for Trinidad.  It can be viewed on BizLand.  Since you live on an island, your individual may represent a different species or subspecies.  The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History site lists  Copaxa rufinans on Trinidad, but there is no image. We will contact Bill Oehlke to get his opinion.  He may request permission to post your images and we hope you will be amenable to that.

Giant Silkmoth: Copaxa species
Giant Silkmoth: Copaxa marona

Bill Oehlke provides a Correction:  Copaxa marona
Hi Daniel,
It is Copaxa marona which replaces decrescens in French Guiana, Guyana and Suriname and probably in Venezuela and Trinidad. DNA barcoding has shown that decrescens is probably limited to southeastern Brazil
and surrounding areas. This is mentioned on the decrescens page, but I have not updated all the original country checklists. Thanks for thinking of me. I will add marona to Trinidad page and will add it also tentatively to Venezuela page and will remove decrescens as ? from Venezuela, based on DNA barcoding analysis. Hard to tell marona from decrescens just by appearance.

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