Male Io Moth

Subject: What’s this moth
Location: Florida
June 23, 2016 4:48 am
I found this moth outside and I don’t know what kind it is
Signature: Nicholas Warren

Male Io Moth
Male Io Moth

Dear Nicholas,
This is a Male Io Moth,
Automeris io, one of the Giant Silk Moths in the family Saturniidae, arguably the largest and showiest family of moths in the world.  There was a heavy emphasis on Greek mythology when many of the species in the family were named, and the Io Moth takes its name from the goddess Io that you may read about on Greek Mythology.  The Io moth is sexually dimorphic:  Males have yellow upper wings while female Io Moths have brown upper wings.  Like all Giant Silkmoths, Io Moths do not eat as adults.  Many Giant Silkmoths have oculi or eyespots on their underwings.  The moths rest with the upper wings covering the underwings, and when disturbed, they “open their eyes” which may startle a predator like a bird into perceiving it is about to be eaten by a much larger predator, which causes it to flee rather than to eat the tasty moth. 

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