Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Mendocino saturnia moth
Saturnia mendocino Behrens, 1876

Family: Saturniidae
Subfamily: Saturniinae
Identification: Females are larger than males. Upperside forewing is brownish orange; hindwing is orange to red-orange with a diffuse dark area at the base. Both wings have small eyespots; spot on tip of male forewing is smaller than the spot on female. The black submarginal band on the hindwing may fade away at its ends.
Wing Span: 2 7/16 - 3 1/8 inches (6.2 - 8 cm).
Life History: Adults fly in the daytime with a fast and erratic flight. Newly-emerged females fly only after they have mated. Females lay eggs singly or in bunches of 2-6 on the leaves of the host plants. Eggs hatch 1 to 7 weeks later. Loose mesh-like cocoons are attached to stems or branches of the host plants.
Flight: One brood from February-June.
Caterpillar Hosts: Manzanita (Arctostaphylos) and madrone (Arbutus menziesii), both in the heath family (Ericaceae).
Adult Food: Adults do not feed.
Habitat: Chaparral plant communities and the dry edges of redwood forests.
Range: Monterey County, California north through the Coast Range and from Tulare County on the western slopes of the California Sierra Nevada, north through the Cascade Mountains and into southern Oregon.
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
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