Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Cecropia silkmoth
Hyalophora cecropia (Linnaeus, 1758)


Family: Saturniidae
Subfamily: Saturniinae
Identification: Body is red with a white collar and white bands on the abdomen. Wings are dark brown with white hairlike scales giving a frosted appearance; forewings are red at the base. Crescent spots and the area outside the postmedian line are red on all wings.
Wing Span: 4 5/16 - 5 7/8 inches (11 - 15 cm).
Life History: Females lay rows of 2-6 eggs on both sides of the leaves of small host trees or shrubs. Eggs hatch in 10-14 days. Young caterpillars feed in groups on leaves; older caterpillars are solitary. The cocoon is attached along its full length to a twig; to escape predation by rodents and birds, the cocoon is usually constructed in a dark, protected area.
Flight: One flight from March-July in most of the range; two flights in the Midwest, from May-early June and then 2 weeks later.
Caterpillar Hosts: Various trees and shrubs including box elder (Acer negundo), sugar maple (Acer saccharinum), wild cherries and plums (Prunus), apples (Malus), alder and birch (Betulaceae), dogwoods (Cornus), and willows (Salix).
Adult Food: Adults do not feed.
Habitat: Successional habitats in many areas including urban and suburban environments.
Range: Nova Scotia and Maine south to Florida; west across southern Canada and the eastern United States to the Rocky Mountains.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
Comments: NULL