Cecropia Silkmoth - ROM2003_837_8


Cecropia Silkmoth

Geography: Canada, Ontario: Toronto
Date: May 5, 1943
wingspan=130 mm
    • Attributes
    • Objects
    • Taxonomy
    • KingdomAnimalia
    • PhylumArthropoda
    • ClassInsecta
    • OrderLepidoptera
    • FamilySaturniidae
    • GenusHyalophora
    • SpecificEpithetcecropia
Object number: ROME84080
Not on view
DescriptionWith a wingspan of 11-15 cm, the Cecropia moth is North America’s largest moth. A member of the moth family Saturniidae, they are commonly called silkworm moths. During the autumn, the larvae (or caterpillars) of these moths spin a double-layered silken cocoon around themselves in which they pupate (the stage of metamorphosis during which they change into adult moths). These silken cocoons, which are attached to twigs, also act as protection for the pupae from our harsh Canadian winters as well as from predators such as mice and squirrels. Adult moths emerge from these cocoons in late spring to early summer; their sole purpose in life is to find a mate. Since they do not feed, adult moths only live for about two weeks. Adult females release a chemical called a pheromone to attract males that have been known to fly up to 11 km in search of a mate. Male moths have large feather-like antennae that enable them to detect the female’s pheromones.
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