largest moth in north america

These species are medium to very large in size, and this family includes the largest moths in North America. Adults have a wingspan of 3 to 15 centimeters. Hyalophora cecropia, the Cecropia Moth, is also known as the Giant Silkworm Moth or the Robin Moth. It is the largest moth found in North America and. The cecropia moth is a beautiful creature that can be found in North America. These moths are quite large with huge wingspans!

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North America's Largest Moth!

Moonlight Miracles

Butterflies have cousins that are just as beautiful, much more numerous in species, with body shapes so diverse it boggles the mind. A number of years ago, I enjoyed my first moth program given by a local north Jersey expert, and I was hooked. I was so fascinated that I became involved learning more about these (mostly) nighttime critters. Although we are not experts, my wife and I and several friends now offer moth nights at both High Point State Park and the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge in Sussex County (check their websites for this years’ events - being scheduled for July and/or August). The way a moth night works is that special lighting is set up in an appropriate habitat (perhaps near a wooded or wet area) just before dusk. Sheets are hung to allow moths to alight on them for easy viewing. Lights are turned on at sunset to get ready for attracting the denizens of the night. As darkness settles in, an inside lecture is given. The program, affectionately titled “Mothing 101”, is geared for all age groups and expertise — from families with young children to seniors to serious naturalists. It’s very low key but will help one to understand what they are about to experience — perhaps for the first time!

Most people prefer to keep their encounters with “night life” as brief as possible. The frightening mass of flying bugs swirling around the porch light must be barred from entering the house with frantic door slams. But nocturnal insect life represents a large part of our natural world that is spectacular and easily observable by all.

Everyone identifies butterflies with a warm and fuzzy feeling. But moths are just as beautiful—and important to our environment. Yes, there are some drab moths, but there are mundane looking butterflies as well. For every butterfly species in North America, there are approximately fifteen species of moths. Butterflies look like, well, butterflies. Moths, on the other hand, come in a huge variety of body shapes and sizes. Some don’t even remotely resemble anything one would normally equate to this family of insects. Moths are divided into micro and macro categories. Some silk moths are extremely large and may range anywhere from three to five inches across. Micro moths, on the other hand, are so small they appear like a tiny piece of fluff drifting by. Some moths even pretend to be something they are not—like a hummingbird. There is a species of sphinx moth known also as a hummingbird moth that imitates the movement and behavior of the ruby-throated hummingbird that many of us enjoy in our flower gardens. This moth flies in a backward and forward motion just as a hummingbird does and nectars in the same way as its namesake, making it very easy to confuse with the real thing!

Most people view butterflies as cute and harmless, but moths usually do not receive those high accolades. After all, they are creatures of the dark! What the average person does not realize is that, generally speaking, moths are just butterflies with fur coats! Butterflies have evolved with the sun to warm them. Moths need a little something extra for the cool nights when they fly. However, not all moths are nocturnal. Many species are day flyers that might be flushed up when walking slowing through a meadow, just as colorful as their neighbor butterflies. Note: moths cannot bite. But they can tickle—important to consider when participating in a moth night.

Moths are also, like butterflies, pollinators, and it's important to remember their role in the reproductive lives of flowers and food plants that humans need, especially considering the significant population declines that pollinators throughout this country have been experiencing.

Moths and butterflies are so similar that they are classified in the same biological Order, which is Lepidoptera. They both have the same life cycle starting with laying eggs, and then five increasingly larger sizes of caterpillars separated by skin shedding. These five sizes are called instars. They then both pupate. A butterfly pupa is called a chrysalis. A moth pupa is a cocoon. Then the moths and butterflies emerge as flying adults.

So, with all these similarities between butterflies and moths, how do we tell them apart? It’s all in the antennae. Butterflies have club-like enlargements at the ends of their antennae. Moths only have straight or slightly tapering antennae or antennae that is very feathery. Female moths give off pheromones that male moths can detect with their feathery antennae, sometimes from miles away. A pheromone is a chemical substance that is produced, in this case by the female, to influence the behavior of the male of the same species. It is usually a way of attracting a mate.

There are a few species of moths worldwide that are true pests of humanity. However, guilt by association goes a long way! Many people believe all moths to be bad. After all, that’s what eats up your carpet or leaves holes in your favorite sweater, right? Actually, only two species of moths produce most of this damage, and it is the moth larvae or caterpillars that do the munching. Remember, moths can only nectar because they do not have mouths with biting parts. Today’s synthetic carpets lack the natural fibers that enticed hungry caterpillars. However, they might show up if you never clean or vacuum it! Another challenging species are gypsy moths that do considerable damage to trees. They are non-native and were introduced to North America in 1869. Larder moths can invade our pantries and become a pest, but once again, it is the larvae that does the damage. These are also referred to as Indian Meal moths, although they are not native to India. Wax moths can be a pest to beekeepers by munching on beeswax. However, this typically occurs only when hives are in a weakened state.


So, now that you realize how beautiful, interesting and non-threatening moths are, how can you learn more? An excellent starting point would be to procure a copy of the Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America. Moths are pictured in their natural resting posture unlike earlier field guides that illustrated moths as pinned specimens. Natural resting postures make it much easier to identify the moth species. This guide also explains what time of year a species can be observed which is a tremendous help since some species fly only in the spring, some only in the summer, some only in the fall and others in spring, summer and fall. The book is also divided into sections depicting micro and macro moths. Size does matter! At least it does when puzzling over a species and needing a starting point, size is a good place to begin. In the back of the book, there are silhouettes of different types of moths to speed identification. When all else fails for identifying a species using this guide, there are other sources of assistance including online help at Moth Photographers Group or bugguide.net.

Now that we have a resource for learning about and identifying these cool flyers, we need to get out and see them. What attracts moths to light, or the flame, so to speak? Scientists don’t know for sure; there are hundreds of theories. The one I like best is that moths use the brightest object in the sky to navigate for short distances. This may be the moon or the brightest planet or a star or your hundred-watt porch light. Ultraviolet light works best for attracting moths. Standard light bulbs will function for this purpose, but only use unfrosted ones. If you really become serious and want to attract a wide variety of moths, then a professional bulb can be ordered through bioquip.com. Peruse night collection equipment on their website for self-ballasted mercury vapor collecting lamps. These bulbs are 160 watts and fit into an ordinary medium bulb socket. It must be stressed that most outside light fixtures are only rated for a maximum of 100 watts. Therefore, you will need a socket rated for more than 160 watts to utilize these special bulbs. Be careful and never leave your light unattended since the bulb can become very hot. These bulbs are currently priced at approximately $52. Mercury vapor bulbs are not widely available anymore because of the mercury inside the bulb; they must be disposed of properly. If you are less inclined to use mercury vapor but want something stronger than a regular light bulb, there is an alternative. Desert reptile lights, available at most pet stores, are twenty to thirty watts and simulate the desert sun. They give off some ultraviolet and work well for moths. With any ultraviolet light source, one should not stare into it without using ultraviolet shielding glasses.

Field guide: check! Light source: check! What is the best way to view moths coming in? Close focusing binoculars are highly recommended. Many current “moth observers” are utilizing the Pentax Papilio 6.5 x 21-power model that are extremely close focusing. One can focus to about eighteen inches from a subject. Pentax also makes an 8.5 model but the 6.5 works best for insects. They are also great when taking a nature hike where you are seeing things close by (at your feet, for instance) and don’t want to constantly back up or bend over to focus on your subject flower, bird or bug. Current price won’t break the bank, about $100. Since most moth viewing will be at night, a good flashlight is indispensable. Long pants and long sleeve shirts are recommended if you prefer not to be tickled! If you are attempting to photograph a moth, in most instances, less light is better then more. Photographing moths will allow you the ability to work out identification later, in the comfort of your home! Most cameras today have a macro feature. Many moth photographers have found that using a Raynox DCR-150 snap-on macro lens allows them to take the same photograph but from a slightly farther distance. Most critters, large and small, have a comfort zone. If you invade this zone, they will flee, leaving you without a subject. The Raynox allows a photographer to remain outside of the comfort zone of most butterflies and moths (and other interesting insects). Remember, never cast a shadow on your subject. If you do, it will fly. The Raynox is another inexpensive tool (about $65, check your camera compatibility before purchasing one) to make your journey into the natural world more enjoyable.

An extra benefit of using lights to attract moths to your yard is all the other insect life that may join the moths! Aquatic beetles and plant bugs and plant hoppers all show up. Yes, there can be mosquitoes, but so many sell gift cards for cash near me the other critters coming to the lights prey on the mosquitoes so they have never been a problem to the human population trying to see and photograph everything else flying around. Every so often, a gray tree frog will take up residence by the lights and find himself an easy meal; another great photo opportunity for us!

It is highly recommended that you do not leave your lights on all night. Lights can have the potential of disrupting the moths breeding cycles should they become too distracted. Since moths are pollinators, they are an extremely important part of nature’s web of life. Bees have been making headlines (in a sad way) for years now due to their declining numbers and the recognition of their importance to pollinating so much of our food supply. However, there are hundreds of other pollinating insects, including moths, that are also in decline. It is unknown at this time exactly how detrimental these declines will be to plants on which we rely, but where light pollution and agriculture meet, science has already shown declines in both the day and nighttime visits of all pollinators. Plant fruit set— the process by which flowers become fruit and potential fruit size is determined—has been proven to be declining in these situations, so it is vitally important to reduce light pollution, even in small ways such as turning off your porch or moth lights.

Another way to encourage moths to visit your yard is to leave your leaf litter on the ground during the winter to allow those over-wintering species to find a place to hang out during the colder parts of the year. Leaving some natural areas throughout the year will give moths a place to hide during the day where they can remain undisturbed.

If you have been a daytime naturalist, why not consider discovering the critters that come out after dark? You will be amazed by the sheer beauty and level of activity right outside your door. Or you can attend a local moth night! National Moth Week (yes, there is such a thing) will be held July 17-25, 2021; check their website for activities close to you. Local, state and national parks are hosting moth nights throughout the summer. Dare to search for the flying denizens of the dark!

Bring a camera with close up capabilities to an upcoming Moth Night. You won’t be disappointed with the photo opportunities!

For more information, the website for North American Butterfly Association now includes information on moths.

This story was first published: Summer, 2019

Источник: https://njskylands.com/wildlife-moths

Architectural evolution in cocoons spun by Hyalophora (Lepidoptera; Saturniidae) silk moth species

Abstract

Caterpillars of the silk moth genus Hyalophora (Lepidoptera; Saturniidae) construct multilayered cocoons that function as overwintering housing during the pupal to adult developmental period. While all cocoons share the primary function of protecting the developing moth, cocoons spun by different Hyalophora silk moth species vary significantly in architectural features and in the level of intraspecific cocoon-type polymorphism. We compared the cocoons of Hyalophora species found throughout North America and investigated the evolution of architectural variation. We first characterized and compared the architectural features of cocoons at all three cocoon sections (outer envelope, inner envelope, and the intermediate section that separates them), and found that variation in the outer envelope underlies the differences in architecture between cocoons. Phylogenetic analysis indicates ancestral polymorphic architecture (both “baggy” and “compact” morphs), with diversification within Hyalophora for both monomorphic “compact” cocoons, and increased intermediate space and silk in “baggy” lineages. The evolution of these traits suggests a potential functional role for the different cocoon architectural forms.

Introduction

Individuals from many diverse taxa have evolved to build structures that house and protect the individual from environmental stress. Many of these structures have been adapted to possess specific architectural features that facilitate their ability to buffer against adverse local environmental conditions1,2. As part of an extended phenotype3, the architectural characteristics of largest moth in north america structures can also be under selection pressure, creating the potential for both the form and function of these structures to change over time. Differential selection on architectural features can explain the diversity in constructs exhibited even between closely related species.

The cocoons spun by silk moth largest moth in north america in the genus Hyalophora (Lepidoptera; Saturniidae) are examples of structures that can protect individuals against adverse environmental conditions4,5,6. Built during the summer by caterpillars in the final fifth instar larval stage, these cocoons protect individuals while they overwinter as pupae. The following spring, individuals emerge from the cocoons as adults.

Cocoon architecture varies within Hyalophora, with some species (e.g., Hyalophora cecropia) producing discrete dimorphic cocoons of either a large and fluffy cocoon (baggy) or a significantly smaller and tightly woven cocoon (compact)6,7. Other species produce cocoons with continuous variation in morphology (Hyalophora euryalus8,9), and still others produce only the compact form (Hyalophora columbia, Hyalophora cf gloveri, and the proposed hybrid lineage Hyalophora “kasloensis” that result from crosses of H. euryalus x H. cf gloveri8). As variation within H. cecropia is linked to a locale-dependent strategy for dealing with adverse environmental conditions during the pupal stage, the architecture of the cocoons of these other Hyalophora species may also play a similar role though local adaptation to range-specific environmental conditions9.

Hyalophora cocoons all have two discrete envelopes (inner and outer; Fig. 1), but vary in the intermediate space, and the presence and abundance of intermediate silk. Cecropia moth caterpillars (H. cecropia), for example, produce a multilayered cocoon with an intermediate space between the layers filled with silk6,10,11. This intermediate space and silk, combined with two distinct morphs (baggy and compact) appears to mitigate environmental stochasticity during pupal development. Largest moth in north america multi-layered and dimorphic architecture of cecropia moth cocoons produces alternative cocoon types with specific biophysical advantages relative to stochastic environmental conditions during development, conditions that can vary over the large environmental gradients encompassed by the entire habitat range of these moths. Population variation in cocoon architecture across the large environmental gradient encompassed by this lineage, indicates that this may be a locale-dependent, bet-hedging strategy6. Other Hyalophora moths within this genus may have different combinations of these architectural traits and may lack the developmental plasticity to create these kinds of morphs to tailor developmental cocoon conditions to environmental variation.

The different architectural sections of cocoons made by Hyalophora silk moth species. Photo was taken by Steven M. Reppert and is adapted from Guerra & Reppert6.

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In this study, we used the cocoons of different species within Hyalophora (H. cecropia, H. columbia, H. euryalus, and H. cf gloveri) and that of a hybrid (H. “kasloensis”), as a model to examine the evolution of architecture and dimorphism in animal construction (Fig. 2a,b). To address this, we first used three-dimensional (3D) analysis to characterize and compare the architectural features (i.e., size and shape) of cocoons across the groups at all three levels of construction: outer envelope (Fig. 2a), inner envelope (Fig. 2b), and intermediate space. We also compared the cocoons with respect to the total amount of silk used for construction and the allocation of silk between the different cocoon sections. Next, we conducted a phylogenetic analysis to determine how different architectural features and the existence of multiple cocoon morphologies have evolved within the genus. Together, these results inform on whether the diverse cocoon architectures in Hyalophora are consistent with a strategy for dealing with environmental conditions during the pupal developmental period prior to adult eclosion.

Representative cocoons from the Hyalophora species examined in our study. (a) Outer envelopes of cocoons. (b) Inner envelopes of cocoons. Inner envelopes pictured are the inner envelopes that were contained within the outer envelopes directly above in (a).

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Results

Different amounts of silk building materials

A single H. euryalus cocoon from our sample contained only an outer envelope, i.e., no inner envelope was spun, but the larval pellet and pupal casing were found inside this otherwise normal (size and shape) outer envelope. This cocoon was therefore omitted from our silk analyses.

We found that the cocoons from the different Hyalophora groups contained different amounts of total cocoon silk (One-way ANOVA: F5, 58 = 18.7600, p < 0.0001). Post hoc comparisons (Tukey HSD test, ∝ = 0.05) showed that loose/round (H. euryalus) and baggy (H. cecropia) cocoons had a higher amount of silk than cocoons with compact morphology (p < 0.0001 for all comparisons between H. euryalus and compact cocoon groups, and for all comparisons between baggy H. cecropia and all compact cocoon groups). Hyalophora euryalus and H. cecropia, however, were indistinguishable from each other (H. euryalus: 0.8726 +/− 0.0537 g, n = 9; H. cecropia: 0.7800 +/ 0.0389 g, n = 10). Between the two H. cecropia cocoon morphologies, compact cocoons (0.6800 +/ 0.0389 g, n = 10) had similar amounts of total silk as baggy cocoons, but contained significantly less silk than H. euryalus cocoons. For the three species with monomorphic compact cocoons, the cocoons of H. cf gloveri (0.6292 +/ 0.0486 g, n = 10) had intermediate amounts of total silk, and the cocoons with the least amounts of total silk belonged to H. “kasloensis” (0.4851 +/ 0.0403 g, n = 10) and H. columbia (0.3786 +/ 0.0293, n = 10). Hyalophora groups that produce polymorphic cocoons (H. cecropia and H. euryalus) contain more total silk than groups that produce monomorphic cocoons (p < 0.0001 for all post hoc comparisons between each of H. cecropia and H. euryalus, with that of H. cf gloveri, H. “kasloensis”, and H. columbia, respectively).

We found that cocoons from the different Hyalophora groups significantly differed in their percentage of total cocoon silk that was partitioned to the outer envelope (Kruskal-Wallis test: χ2 (5) = 45.3088, p < 0.0001). Post hoc Wilcoxon pairwise comparisons (∝ = 0.05) found that although loose and round H. euryalus cocoons had a significant percentage of total silk in the outer envelope, overall, groups that spun compact cocoons allocated the greatest proportion of total silk to the outer envelope. Compact H. “kasloensis” cocoons were similar to H. euryalus cocoons, and also had the greatest percentage of total cocoon silk in the outer envelope. Compact H. columbia and compact H. cf gloveri cocoons had intermediate percentages of total silk devoted to the outer envelope, followed by H. cecropia compact cocoons. Baggy H. cecropia cocoons had the lowest percentage of total silk devoted to the outer envelope.

Cocoons from the different Hyalophora groups significantly differed in their percentage of total cocoon silk found in the intermediate space of cocoons (Kruskal-Wallis test: χ2 (5) = 48.5039, p < 0.0001). Post hoc Wilcoxon pairwise comparisons (∝ = 0.05) showed that baggy H. cecropia cocoons had the greatest percentage of total silk in the intermediate space, and this percentage was significantly greater than the percentages of all other groups. Compact H. cecropia cocoons had the next largest percentage of total silk in the intermediate space, followed by H. euryalus, H. cf gloveri, and H. “kasloensis” cocoons, which all had similar percentages of total silk. Hyalophora columbia cocoons contained no silk in the intermediate space.

The cocoons from the different Hyalophora largest moth in north america differed in the percentage of total silk found in the inner envelope (Kruskal-Wallis test: χ2 (5) = 37.3455, p < 0.0001). This difference was not as marked across groups, however, as this difference was due to a significant difference between two clusters: baggy H. cecropia, compact H. cecropia, H. columbia, and H. cf gloveri having a significantly greater percentage of total silk in the inner envelope than H. euryalus and H. “kasloensis” (post hoc Wilcoxon pairwise comparisons, ∝ = 0.05).

Outer envelopes – size and shape

No significant interaction between Hyalophora group and total cocoon silk (ANCOVA: F5, 5) = 0.5788, p = 0.7159) was found in our initial comparison of outer envelope surface areas. In our subsequent ANCOVA analysis with the interaction term removed, we found that the surface areas of cocoons were significantly different between the Hyalophora groups (F(5, 5) = 75.7264, p < 0.0001; Fig. 3a). Post hoc comparisons (Tukey HSD test, ∝ = 0.05) found that baggy H. cecropia cocoons had the greatest outer envelope surface areas, followed by compact H. cecropia and H. euryalus cocoons; all of which spin polymorphic cocoons (Fig. 3a). The cocoons with the lowest surface areas were H. “kasloensis”, H. cf gloveri, and H. columbia. Cocoons from these three species were similar in surface area and all produce monomorphic cocoons (Fig. 3a). A positive relationship between total cocoon silk and outer envelope surface area was also found (F(1, 1) = 5.0187, p = 0.0294).

Comparisons of the architectural features of the outer envelopes of cocoons from the different Hyalophora groups that we examined. (a) Surface area. (b) Volume. (c) Thickness. (d) Shape (as measured using Procrustes distance22,23). For (ad), data were analyzed using ANCOVA (n = 10 for all groups).

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Similarly, we found no significant interaction between Hyalophora group and total cocoon silk (ANCOVA: F(5, 5) = 1.9169, p = 0.1093) when we initially compared outer envelope volumes. In our subsequent analysis with the interaction removed, we found that the outer envelopes differed in volume (F(5, 5) = 54.8507, p < 0.0001; Fig. 3b). Baggy H. cecropia cocoons had outer envelopes with the greatest volume relative to all other cocoons (post hoc Tukey HSD test, ∝ = 0.05; Fig. 3b). Cocoons from all of the other Hyalophora groups had similar outer envelope volumes (Fig. 3b), and a positive relationship between total cocoon silk and outer envelope volume was observed (F(1, 1) = 7.2323, p = 0.0096).

In comparing outer envelope thicknesses, we also found no significant interaction between Hyalophora group and total cocoon silk (ANCOVA: F(5, 5) = 1.0996, p = 0.3733). Without the interaction term in our analysis, we found that cocoons from the different groups differed in outer envelope thickness (F(5, 5) = 16.5639, p < 0.0001; Fig. 3c), but thickness was not related to the type of cocoon spun (Post hoc Tukey HSD test, ∝ = 0.05; Fig. 3c), nor was thickness related to total cocoon silk (F(1, 1) = 2.6057, p = 0.1125).

In our initial comparison of outer envelope shape, there was no significant interaction between total cocoon silk and Hyalophora group (ANCOVA: F(5, 5) = 0.7988, p = 0.5561). In our succeeding analysis with the interaction term omitted, we found that the outer envelopes differed in shape (F(5, 5) = 5.5116, p = 0.0004; Fig. 3d) between groups. The outer envelopes segregated into the following groups according to overall shared shape: H. euryalus and H. columbia cocoons had similar shape; the rest of the Hyalophora groups each had outer envelopes with their own, different shape (post hoc Tukey HSD test, ∝ = 0.05). No relationship between total cocoon silk and outer envelope shape was found (F(1, 1) = 0.2110, p = 0.6479).

Intermediate space volumes

We omitted from our analysis a single H. euryalus cocoon that had no inner envelope. For one H. columbia cocoon, the intermediate space volume could not be measured, as the two distinct envelope layers were spun so close together; this cocoon received a value of zero for intermediate space volume. We found that the intermediate space volume was significantly different between the Hyalophora groups (Kruskal-Wallis test: χ2 (5) = 47.8515, p < 0.0001; Fig. 4). Cocoons from groups that can spin polymorphic cocoons had the largest intermediate spaces: baggy H. cecropia cocoons had the largest intermediate spaces of all cocoons; H. euryalus and compact H. cecropia cocoons were similar, and had the next largest intermediate space volumes (post hoc Wilcoxon pairwise comparisons, ∝ = 0.05). In contrast, the groups that spin monomorphic cocoons had the smallest intermediate spaces (Fig. 4). Hyalophora “kasloensis” and H. cf gloveri cocoons had similar, low intermediate space volumes, while H. columbia cocoons had the smallest intermediate space volumes of all groups.

Comparison of the intermediate space volume of cocoons from the different Hyalophora groups observed in our study. Data were analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis test (n = 10 for all groups, except for H. euryalus in which n = 9).

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Inner envelopes – size and shape

In these comparisons, we omitted the H. euraylus cocoon that was without an inner envelope. We also omitted the H. columbia cocoon of which it was impossible to separate the inner envelope from the outer envelope properly. Here, the two distinct envelope layers were spun so close together that removal of the inner envelope resulted in an inner envelope layer that largest moth in north america too torn for 3D scanning.

No interaction between Hyalophora group and total cocoon largest moth in north america was observed when we compared the inner envelopes of the Hyalophora groups in both surface area (ANCOVA: F(5, 5) = 0.5817, p = 0.7138) and volume (ANCOVA: F(5, 5) = 0.6839, p = 0.6379). Our subsequent analyses with the interaction term removed showed that the inner envelopes were different among the Hyalophora groups in both surface area (F(5, 5) = 11.4633, p < 0.0001; Fig. 5a) and volume (F(5, 5) = 13.6788, p < 0.0001; Fig. 5b). Hyalophora c. gloveri inner envelopes had both the greatest surface area and volume of all groups, and all other groups had similar inner envelope surface areas and volumes (post hoc Tukey HSD test, ∝ = 0.05; Fig. 5a-b). Total cocoon silk had a positive relationship with both inner envelope surface area (F(1, 1) = 28.6158, p < 0.0001) and volume (F(1, 1) = 37.2155, p < 0.0001).

Comparison of the architectural features of the inner envelopes of cocoons from the different Hyalophora groups that we examined. (a) Surface area. (b) Volume. (c) Thickness. (d) Shape (as measured using Procrustes distance22,23). For (ad), data were analyzed using ANCOVA (n = 10 for all groups, except for H. euryalus and H. columbia in which n = 9).

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An initial comparison of inner envelope thicknesses found no interaction between Hyalophora group and total cocoon silk (ANCOVA: F(5, 5) = 1.7775, p = 0.1363). We found that the inner envelopes differed in thickness (F(5, 5) = 7.7078, p < 0.0001; Fig. 5c) in our subsequent analysis that omitted the interaction term, but inner envelope thickness was not related to either cocoon-type (baggy or compact) or the number of cocoon-types that could be spun (polymorphic or monomorphic) (post hoc Tukey HSD test, ∝ = 0.05; Fig. 5c).

When we compared the shapes of the inner envelopes of the different Hyalophora groups, we found a significant interaction between Hyalophora group and total cocoon silk (ANCOVA: F(5, 5) = 3.2718, p = 0.0131; Fig. 5d). This result shows that the shapes of the inner envelopes of the Hyalophora groups will be different for inner envelopes at different sizes.

Evolution of cocoon morphology

The species tree generated by combining available Largest moth in north america datasets within this group, and removing all proposed hybrids or misidentified individuals, matches previous reconstructions for this clade12,13. In particular, this species tree highlights a clear divergence from the outgroup followed by a potential burst of species in Hyalophora lineages (characterized by low posterior probabilities at each of the nodes and short branch lengths; Fig. 6). The limitations of the small COI dataset, and the apparent rapid diversification within Hyalophora, put the exact character evolution of cocoons within Hyalophora beyond the scope of the current work, however. Nevertheless, our analysis demonstrates that Hyalophora has diverged from its outgroup (C. promethea) as cocoon construction in Hyalophora has evolved to include the production of separable, distinct envelopes, and the loss of a silk leaf (which attaches the cocoon to a branch). These traits, and the addition of silk to the intermediate space between envelopes in some of the Hyalophora lineages, are not found in the sister clade. Although little is known about cocoons of the newly described H. mexicana, and H. leonis lineages, the existence of cocoon polymorphism in the outgroup as well as in multiple ingroup species, suggests that cocoon polymorphism is an ancestral state. All Hyalophora monomorphic species constructed cocoons with compact morphology, though the uncertainty in phylogenetic relationships limits the interpretation of whether or not this has resulted from a single or multiple loses of polymorphic cocoon shape.

Phylogenetic species tree of Hyalophora silk moth species with C. promethea outgroup. This tree represents individuals from previous published trees12,13, with all hybrid and potentially misidentified individuals removed. Posterior probabilities are indicated at each node, highlighting uncertainty of branching order amongst the rapidly diverging Hyalophora lineages. Blue branches indicate species constructing polymorphic cocoons and red branches indicate species that construct monomorphic, compact cocoons only. Purple branches indicate that the presence or absence of polymorphism is unknown (H. mexicana and H. leonis).

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Discussion

Within Hyalophora, we found that all species have evolved cocoons with separable, distinct envelopes, i.e., the outer and inner envelopes. Overall, we found that the cocoons spun by the different Hyalophora groups were architecturally different at the level of the outer envelope. This architectural difference in cocoons was manifested as differences in outer envelope size (i.e., surface area and volume) and in intermediate space volume, a cocoon feature directly related to the size of the outer envelope. Between species, the volume of this intermediate space, and the silk contained within it, also varies. For example, H. cecropia has a high degree of layer separation compared to other species such as H. columbia. The larger separation between the two envelopes has led to the construction of cocoons with significantly larger intermediate spaces and silk. We also found that groups that produce polymorphic cocoons (H. cecropia and H. euryalus) possess larger outer envelopes than groups that produce monomorphic, compact cocoons (H. columbia, H. cf gloveri, and H. “kasloensis”). The larger outer envelopes of groups that can construct polymorphic cocoons appears to be correlated with the amount of total cocoon silk produced, as these groups have cocoons that contain the most total silk.

In contrast to the relationships between species when outer envelopes are compared, the inner envelopes of the different Hyalophora groups were similar overall. Any differences that we found between groups had no clear relationship with either architectural features or with cocoon polymorphism. The similar inner envelopes of the different Hyalophora groups suggest that these inner envelopes share in the same function, i.e., housing for the individual during pupal to adult development, and are comparable in their biophysical characteristics, presumably in the same manner as to how the inner envelopes of baggy and compact H. cecropia cocoons are equivalent in biophysical properties (e.g., thermoregulation and moisture permeability6). As separable outer and inner envelopes are a derived trait in Hyalophora (Fig. 6), the differences seen between outer envelopes but not in inner envelopes, support the idea that these species have evolved the outer envelope as a key way to help buffer against certain environmental stressors that might be stronger or more prevalent in the habitat range of a particular species6 (see below).

In addition to differences in the surface area, volume, and thickness of the outer envelopes of Hyalophora cocoons, we also found that outer envelope polymorphism was different across species. Interestingly, cocoon architectural monomorphism, at the level of the outer envelope, is a derived trait in Hyalophora (Fig. 6). Two species have lost cocoon polymorphism (H. columbia and H. cf gloveri), with the compact form persisting, potentially in response to environmental conditions.

Previous work with cocoons of H. cecropia has demonstrated that compact cocoons are more hydrophobic than baggy cocoons, as they absorbed significantly less water in water absorption trials6. This greater level of hydrophobicity is due in part to compact cocoons having significantly thicker outer envelopes than baggy cocoons, with this greater thickness reducing envelope porosity. Moreover, less water is held by compact cocoons due to having smaller intermediate spaces for water to be contained within them6. We found that H. columbia and H. cf gloveri had cocoons with significantly thicker outer envelopes than compact H. cecropia cocoons. Similarly, H. columbia inner envelopes are thicker than the inner envelopes of compact H. cecropia, and the inner envelopes of H. cf gloveri are similar in thickness to that of compact H. cecropia. In addition, the intermediate spaces of both H. columbia and H. cf gloveri are significantly smaller than that of compact H. cecropia cocoons. Taken together, our results suggest that the thicker envelopes and the more tightly woven architecture of cocoons in both H. columbia and H. cf gloveri, can make these compact cocoons substantially more hydrophobic and less absorptive of water.

We speculate that these enhanced physical barriers to water penetration possessed by these cocoons is consistent with an architectural strategy of freeze avoidance and protection against ice, by which specific architectural features help prevent inoculative freezing and lethal intracellular freezing of the individual5,14. Reducing freezing risk and exposure to external ice is particularly important during periods of pupal development during which rain and subzero temperatures can coincide, leading to harmful ice formation such as on or within the pupa15. This function has been observed in the cocoons used for overwintering in other insect species16,17. Freezing, facilitated by exposure to water, is lethal for many insects18,19.

For example, although found in similar ranges as that of H. cecropia and H. euryalus, overall, the range of H. columbia in North America is limited to areas that typically are more temperate and that can experience much colder seasonal temperatures. The architecture of H. columbia cocoons, (i.e., all compact, with accentuated architectural features of the compact morph including significantly thicker envelopes and more tightly woven structure) might result from directional selection for the compact morph in response to the more probable environmental stress that occurs in these areas (e.g., cold temperatures leading to freezing). Cocoons of H. cf gloveri might have experienced similar directional selection that has caused this species to produce monomorphic, compact cocoons. Consistent with this hypothesis is that the construction of baggy and compact cocoons in H. cecropia appears to vary with location under natural conditions. Anecdotal observations of cocoons in more northern and colder habitats that can experience intense fall and winter storms with heavy rain, ice, and cold temperatures (e.g., Nor’easters), found that all cocoons possessed compact cocoon morphology (e.g., Nova Scotia, Canada – Fig. 7, area within red rectangle; Ferguson 1972). In addition, observations of cocoons in the St. Louis, Missouri area (1910–1:4 baggy:compact, 1911–1:6 baggy:compact20), and of cocoons in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois (1965–1966–1:6 baggy:compact21), found that cocoons had a greater probability of being compact.

Collection localities and estimated range maps of Hyalophora silk moth species in North America. Stars indicate collection locations of cocoons for that species. The area within the red rectangle indicates anecdotal observations where only compact H. cecropia cocoons have been found30. Range maps were estimated from previous work8,12,13, and collection localities logged in www.butterfliesandmoths.org. The ranges of the two subspecies of H. columbia (H. c. columbia and H. c. gloveri) are merged here due to paraphyly found in genetic reconstructions. As the ranges of the newly identified species of H. mexicana and H. leonis are still unsure, these areas may significantly underrepresent the actual ranges. Likewise, the actual range of H. cf gloveri is also uncertain except for a small general region in Utah near Salt Lake City that is the only known locality of this distinct genetic lineage. Map was created using ESRI ArcGIS software, version 10.4 (https://www.esri.com), and cocoon collection locations were added onto the map using Adobe Illustrator CS6, version 16.0.2 (https://www.adobe.com).

Full size image

Cocoon construction in Hyalophora silk moths represents a useful model to examine the evolution of diversity in animal architecture, especially in closely related groups. For example, our current study can allow us to make predictions on the cocoon architecture of other Hyalophora species (e.g., H. leonis and H. mexicana, which might have monomorphic compact cocoons given their limited ranges and mountainous distributions similar to that of H. cf gloveri; Fig. 7) and that of other cocoon-making insects not directly studied here. Moreover, due to contemporary stressors such as climate change, which bring a greater probability of extreme weather events and increased environmental stochasticity, cocoon construction will likely be under intense selection pressure. Such stress might potentially select for the rapid evolution of the architectural characteristics of cocoons. Further genetic data and functional experiments on cocoons are now needed to better understand the evolution of cocoon architecture within Hyalophora and quantify their effects on fitness and survivorship.

Methods

Cocoons

We compared the architectural features of cocoons that were spun by several species of Hyalophora silk moth (H. cecropia, H. columbia, H. cf gloveri, and H. euryalus), and that of the hybrid H. “kasloensis”. The cocoons from each of these groups (n = 10 cocoons for each group) were all collected from various locations in the United States (Fig. 7). For H. cecropia, which has two discrete cocoon morphs (baggy and compact), we sampled both types of cocoons (10 baggy and 10 compact) from Central and Eastern Massachusetts that were previously characterized6 (cocoons collected by Steven M. Reppert). Hyalophora euryalus produces cocoons with continuous polymorphic architectural morphology ranging from compact to baggy construction throughout its range8,9. Samples in our study consisted of H. euryalus cocoons collected in Lake County, California (38°38′02.2776′′N, −122°36′04.5360W; collected by Scott Smith) that were looser and rounder than those found in other portions of their range8,9. The other Hyalophora groups that we examined all produce monomorphic compact cocoons: compact H. columbia cocoons from Prince Edward Island, Canada (46°30′38.5632, −63°25′0.5304′′; collected by Scott Smith); compact H. cf gloveri cocoons from Sandy City, Utah (40°34′21.00′′, −111°51′34.9992′′; collected by Scott Smith); and compact H. “kasloensis” cocoons similar to H. cf gloveri8 from Spokane, Washington (47°39′ 31.6087′′, −117°25′33.7678′′; collected by Scott Smith). The closely related silk moth Callosamia promethea was used as the outgroup in our phylogenetic analysis, as based on previous work12 (see below). This species produces both baggy and compact cocoon morphs8. Compact C. promethea cocoons collected in Eastern Massachusetts (collected by Steven M. Reppert in the same areas H. cecropia cocoons were collected6) were used for morphological comparisons (n = 10 cocoons; see Supplementary Fig. S1).

Silk building materials

For each cocoon from the different Hyalophora species, we separately weighed the amounts of silk that formed the outer envelope, any silk that was contained within the intermediate space, and the silk that formed the inner envelope on a Mettler-Toledo balance (model ME204E). We calculated the total silk mass for each cocoon by adding these three silk masses together. We then determined the percentage of total cocoon silk that was contained in each of these three different cocoon sections for each cocoon. We compared the total amount of cocoon silk and the percentage of total cocoon silk that was allocated to each of the three different cocoon sections (i.e., the outer envelope, the intermediate space, and the inner envelope) across the different Hyalophora groups.

3D cocoon scanning

In order to compare the architectural properties of the different cocoon sections (outer envelope, intermediate space, and inner envelope) from the different Hyalophora groups that we collected, we quantified the architectural features of cocoons using previously published methods6. For all cocoons, we removed any leaves or branches that remained attached to a cocoon after the cocoon was extracted from its outdoor collection site. We then produced 3D scans of each cocoon using a MakerBot Digitizer 3D scanner (MakerBot Industries). For each cocoon, an initial scan of the whole cocoon was made to obtain an outer envelope scan. We then obtained an inner envelope scan by removing the outer envelope and any silk contained within the intermediate space, following the scanning of the whole cocoon.

Cocoon size

To produce measurements that assess cocoon size, we obtained surface area and volume measurements for both the outer and inner envelopes of each cocoon by importing each 3D scan into the program netfabb Basic (Version 5.2.0, Autodesk, Inc.)6. We then obtained the volume of the intermediate space of each cocoon by subtracting the volume of the inner envelope from the volume of the outer envelope. As another measure of cocoon size, we obtained thickness measurements for the outer and inner envelopes of each cocoon by measuring each envelope at its intersection of the vertical and horizontal midline points6 using digital calipers (iGaging Precision Instruments). We compared the surface area, volume, and thickness of the different envelope types (baggy or compact; outer or inner), and the volume of the intermediate space, across the different Hyalophora groups.

Cocoon shape

We compared cocoon shapes using methods similar to those used previously22 for comparing shapes. We first imported the 3D scans for both envelope types of each cocoon into the 3D visualizing program Amira (Version 6.0.1, Thermo Fisher Scientific). Using Amira, we positioned six separate homologous 3D landmarks on each cocoon (both outer and inner envelopes of each cocoon) to obtain 3D morphometric data (XYZ coordinates) that described the shape of each envelope-type. Homologous points were determined along the long axis of the cocoon, based on the position of the exit valve (top of cocoon) and the center of the base (bottom of cocoon) of cocoons. The 3D morphometric data for the outer and inner envelopes of each cocoon were then analyzed in the morphometric analysis program MorphoJ23. We obtained a Procrustes distance value for each of the outer and inner envelopes of each cocoon. Procrustes distance is a metric that allows for the standardization of different objects in order to compare their shapes, without the effects of size (e.g., size differences between objects) affecting the comparisons to be made. We used Procrustes distance as an overall measure of shape. In two separate analyses, we determined if each of the outer and inner envelopes of the different Hyalophora groups significantly differed in shape across groups.

Statistical analyses

Prior to statistical analyses, we checked if our data were normally distributed. Normally distributed data were analyzed using parametric tests. For data that were non-normally distributed, we used appropriate data transformations (arcsine square-root transformation for proportion data and log transformation for all other data types) and re-checked for normality. Data that were normally distributed after transformation were analyzed with parametric tests using the transformed data; for data that remained non-normally distributed even after transformation, we analyzed the untransformed data using non-parametric tests.

Total cocoon silk data were normally distributed, and we analyzed these data using a parametric one-way ANOVA, followed by a post hoc Tukey HSD test. Data examining the percentage of silk that was allocated to either the outer envelope, the intermediate space of cocoons, or to the inner envelope, were each analyzed using non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis tests, followed by a post hoc Wilcoxon pairwise comparison analysis. Intermediate space volume data were also non-normally distributed, and these data were analyzed using these same non-parametric tests. We found significant differences in the amount of total silk in cocoons across groups (see below), which might influence the architectural parameters of cocoons, i.e., surface area, volume, envelope thickness, and shape. We therefore examined the outer envelopes in each of these four architectural parameters using separate parametric one-way ANCOVAs with the amount of total cocoon silk as a covariate (the covariate was centered prior to analysis). ANCOVAs were rerun with the interaction term removed from the analysis, when no significant interaction between Hyalophora group and total cocoon silk was found, indicating that all Hyalophora groups largest moth in north america the same relationship with the covariate (i.e., same slope). We followed each ANCOVA analysis with a post hoc Tukey HSD test. To compare inner envelopes across the Hyalophora groups in the four architectural parameters, we performed parametric ANCOVAs and post hoc Tukey HSD tests in the same manner as we did with our outer envelope analyses. We performed all statistical analyses in JMP Pro (Version 12.1.0, SAS Institute Inc.).

Phylogenetic analysis of cocoon architecture

In order to create a more robust species tree to understand cocoon diversification in Hyalophora, we first compiled a COI barcode dataset from previously published sources12,13, along with samples from the BOLD Systems barcode database (boldsystems.org), resulting in a dataset of 84 individuals which included a single C. promethea as the outgroup. All individuals that were indicated as possible “hybrids” in these studies were removed from further analyses (see Supplementary data online). Due to strong monophyly of major clades found in previous work12,13, and potential uncertainty of identification culled from the barcode database, we first assessed phylogenetic relationships of all individuals in BEAST v. 1.1024. Due to the close relationship and recent divergences expected within the analysis, a strict clock and a constant population size coalescent tree prior were used along with a codon-based SRD06 nucleotide substitution model25. The simulation was run for 10 million generations with sampling every 1,000 generations, with the first 10% discarded as burnin. Maximum clade credibility trees were calculated in TreeAnnotator from the Beast package. We assessed the performance of all Bayesian analyses (convergence and stationarity) with the program Tracer v. 1.526. Only runs with adequate mixing and an Effective Sample Size (ESS) above 200 were considered for final analyses.

In order to correctly assign species identity for the SpeciesTree analysis, we first assessed the groupings of each specimen to remove those that were potentially misidentified. Three individuals from the barcode database that had unexpected phylogenetic relationships based on their taxonomic IDs, were subsequently removed from further analyses. Based on previous findings12,13, which showed paraphyly between H. c. gloveri “a” and H. c. columbia, these two subspecies were collapsed into the H. columbia lineage. The other monophyletic lineages included in the species tree were H. euryalus, H. c. gloveri “b” (referred to as H. cf gloveri onward, all collected from Utah), H. mexicana, and H. leonis12,13.

To generate the species tree, we captain america the first avenger mega download the multispecies coalescent model implemented in StarBEAST227 in BEAST 2.4.828. All individuals were assigned to these four taxon sets along with the C. promethea outgroup. We ran StarBeast2 for 100 million generations with 10% burnin, sampling every 5000. Runs were assessed for adequate mixing and ESS above 200 in Tracer as above. A maximum clade creditability tree was created in TreeAnnotator (part of the BEAST package). Additionally, all trees were visualized with DensiTree v. 2.2.529 to observe concordance across trees. Due to low resolution in branching order within Hyalophora, ancestral state reconstructions within Hyalophora could not be performed and interpretations are limited to comparisons of ingroup and outgroup traits.

Data availability

All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this article and its Supplementary files that are online.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Steven M. Reppert for providing us with H. cecropia and C. promethea cocoons, and for helpful comments during the course of this study. We thank Amanda K. Powers and Joshua B. Gross for their assistance with the shape analysis of cocoons. The University of Cincinnati provided support to P.A.G., and a McMicken STEM undergraduate summer fellowship to L.J.G.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA

    Patrick A. Guerra, Lucinda P. Lawson, Lea J. Gatto, Molly E. Albright & Scott J. Smith

  2. 9807 E. Broadway Ave., Spokane Valley, WA, 99206, USA

    Scott J. Smith

Contributions

P.A.G. and L.P.L. contributed to the design of the study. P.A.G., L.P.L., L.J.G., M.E.A., and S.J.S. contributed to data collection, and P.A.G., L.P.L. and S.J.S. contributed to data analysis and interpretation. All authors contributed to the writing of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Patrick A. Guerra.

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Guerra, P.A., Lawson, L.P., Gatto, L.J. et al. Architectural evolution in cocoons spun by Hyalophora (Lepidoptera; Saturniidae) silk moth species. Sci Rep10, 5615 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-62547-1

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Источник: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-62547-1

The Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia) is North America's largest native moth. It is a member of the Saturniidae family, or giant silk moths. Females with a wingspan of six inches or more have been documented.

The body is hairy, with reddish coloring on the anterior, and fading to reddish/whitish. The abdomen has alternating bands of red and white. The wings are reddish-brown with crescent-shaped white marks. It is mostly nocturnal and is rarely seen in the day.

These moths can be found in the eastern half of North America and north into the majority of Canadian provinces. Life span as an adult is only about two weeks. Hosts include a variety of trees, including maple, cherry, ash, elm, birch and others.

Cecropia Moth
Cecropia Moth

Cecropia Moth

Close-up view of a Cecropia Moth
Close-up view of a Cecropia Moth

Cecropia Moth Caterpillar
Cecropia Moth Caterpillar

Источник: https://www.butterfliesathome.com/cecropia-moth.htm
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  • Owlet Moth; Family Noctuidae; noctuids; the largest family of moths in North America more than 2900 species. - Stock ImageOwlet Moth; Family Noctuidae; noctuids; the largest family of moths in North America more than 2900 species.Owlet Moth; Family Noctuidae; noctuids; the largest family of moths in North America more than 2900 species.https://www.alamy.com/licenses-and-pricing/?v=1https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-owlet-moth-family-noctuidae-noctuids-the-largest-family-of-moths-in-33957108.html
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  • Larva of cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia), largest of the giant silkworm moths in North America. Caterpillar grows to more than four inches (110 cm - Stock ImageLarva of cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia), largest of the giant silkworm moths in North America. Caterpillar grows to more than four inches (110 cmLarva of cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia), largest of the giant silkworm moths in North America. Caterpillar grows to more than four inches (110 cmhttps://www.alamy.com/licenses-and-pricing/?v=1https://www.alamy.com/larva-of-cecropia-moth-hyalophora-cecropia-largest-of-the-giant-silkworm-moths-in-north-america-caterpillar-grows-to-more-than-four-inches-110-cm-image241586794.html
  • Natural history of animals;. try. The larvae of several other moths, most ofthem of large size, are now raised, not only in Asia,but also in Europe and in the United States, for thepurpose of producing silk. The Cecropia Moth, the Promethea Moth, the LunaMoth, and the Polyphemus Moth are all large andmagnificent species, — the largest in North America.They have the antennaebroadly feathered on bothsides, and beautiful eye-likespots on the wings. Allbut the Promethea expandfive or six inches, and thelatter expands about fourinches. They appear inJune. The Cecropia is dusky brown, and near them - Stock ImageNatural history of animals;. try. The larvae of several other moths, most ofthem of large size, are now raised, not only in Asia,but also in Europe and in the United States, for thepurpose of producing silk. The Cecropia Moth, the Promethea Moth, the LunaMoth, and the Polyphemus Moth are all large andmagnificent species, — the largest in North America.They have the antennaebroadly feathered on bothsides, and beautiful eye-likespots on the wings. Allbut the Promethea expandfive or six inches, and thelatter expands about fourinches. They appear inJune. The Cecropia is dusky brown, and near themNatural history of animals;. try. The larvae of several other moths, most ofthem of large size, are now raised, not only in Asia,but also in Europe and in the United States, for thepurpose of producing silk. The Cecropia Moth, the Promethea Moth, the LunaMoth, and the Polyphemus Moth are all large andmagnificent species, — the largest in North America.They have the antennaebroadly feathered on bothsides, and beautiful eye-likespots on the wings. Allbut the Promethea expandfive or six inches, and thelatter expands about fourinches. They appear inJune. The Cecropia is dusky brown, and near themhttps://www.alamy.com/licenses-and-pricing/?v=1https://www.alamy.com/natural-history-of-animals-try-the-larvae-of-several-other-moths-most-ofthem-of-large-size-are-now-raised-not-only-in-asiabut-also-in-europe-and-in-the-united-states-for-thepurpose-of-producing-silk-the-cecropia-moth-the-promethea-moth-the-lunamoth-and-the-polyphemus-moth-are-all-large-andmagnificent-species-the-largest-in-north-americathey-have-the-antennaebroadly-feathered-on-bothsides-and-beautiful-eye-likespots-on-the-wings-allbut-the-promethea-expandfive-or-six-inches-and-thelatter-expands-about-fourinches-they-appear-injune-the-cecropia-is-dusky-brown-and-near-them-image339066168.html
  • The largest moth in the World the Atlas Moth in the Butterfly House in Key West Butterfly House in the Florida Keys, - Stock ImageThe largest moth in the World the Atlas Moth in the Butterfly House in Key West Butterfly House in the Florida Keys, Florida USAThe largest moth in the World the Atlas Moth in the Butterfly House in Key West Butterfly House in the Florida Keys, Florida USAhttps://www.alamy.com/licenses-and-pricing/?v=1https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-the-largest-moth-in-the-world-the-atlas-moth-in-the-butterfly-house-31192966.html
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  • Larva of cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia), largest of the giant silkworm moths in North America. Caterpillar grows to more than four inches (110 cm - Stock ImageLarva of cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia), largest of the giant silkworm moths in North America. Caterpillar grows to more than four inches (110 cmLarva of cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia), largest of the giant silkworm moths in North America. Caterpillar grows to more than four inches (110 cmhttps://www.alamy.com/licenses-and-pricing/?v=1https://www.alamy.com/larva-of-cecropia-moth-hyalophora-cecropia-largest-of-the-giant-silkworm-moths-in-north-america-caterpillar-grows-to-more-than-four-inches-110-cm-image241586288.html
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  • Larva of cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia), the largest of the giant silkworm moths in North America. Larva can reach more than four inches (110 cm) - Stock ImageLarva of cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia), the largest of the giant silkworm moths in North America. Larva can reach more than four inches (110 cm)Larva of cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia), the largest of the giant silkworm moths in North America. Larva can reach more than four inches (110 cm)https://www.alamy.com/licenses-and-pricing/?v=1https://www.alamy.com/larva-of-cecropia-moth-hyalophora-cecropia-the-largest-of-the-giant-silkworm-moths-in-north-america-larva-can-reach-more-than-four-inches-110-cm-image241586283.html
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  • . The Canadian field-naturalist. Natural history. 1906] Natlre Stl'dy—No. 37. NATLRK STL'nV No WWII '49 The Cecropia Emperor Moth (Samia ncnipid, Linn ) Bv Arthcr Gibson, Assisianl Entomologist, Experimental Farm, Ottawa. Cecropia Emperor .Moih and Cocoon, reduced in size. Amonuf our native insect.s, probably none attract greater attention from those who have made no study whatever of ento- mology than the large Emperor Moths, the caterpillars of all ot which are <b>largest moth in north america</b> silP-worms. These moths are the largest we have in North America, and, being of such a size and also of striking beauty, they - Stock Image. The Canadian field-naturalist. Natural history. 1906] Natlre Stl'dy—No. 37. NATLRK STL'nV No WWII '49 The Cecropia Emperor Moth (Samia ncnipid, Linn ) Bv Arthcr Gibson, Assisianl Entomologist, Experimental Farm, Ottawa. Cecropia Emperor .Moih and Cocoon, reduced in size. Amonuf our native insect.s, probably none attract greater attention from those who have made no study whatever of ento- mology than the large Emperor Moths, the caterpillars of all ot which are true silP-worms. These moths are the largest we have in North America, and, being of such a size and also of striking beauty, they. The Canadian field-naturalist. Natural history. 1906] Natlre Stl'dy—No. 37. NATLRK STL'nV No WWII '49 The Cecropia Emperor Moth (Samia ncnipid, Linn ) Bv Arthcr Gibson, Assisianl Entomologist, Experimental Farm, Ottawa. Cecropia Emperor .Moih and Cocoon, reduced in size. Amonuf our native insect.s, probably none attract greater attention from those who have made no study whatever of ento- mology than the large Emperor Moths, the caterpillars of all ot which are true silP-worms. These moths are the largest we have in North America, and, being of such a size and also of striking beauty, they https://www.alamy.com/licenses-and-pricing/?v=1https://www.alamy.com/the-canadian-field-naturalist-natural-history-1906-natlre-stldyno-37-natlrk-stlnv-no-wwii-49-the-cecropia-emperor-moth-samia-ncnipid-linn-bv-arthcr-gibson-assisianl-entomologist-experimental-farm-ottawa-cecropia-emperor-moih-and-cocoon-reduced-in-size-amonuf-our-native-insects-probably-none-attract-greater-attention-from-those-who-have-made-no-study-whatever-of-ento-mology-than-the-large-emperor-moths-the-caterpillars-of-all-ot-which-are-true-silp-worms-these-moths-are-the-largest-we-have-in-north-america-and-being-of-such-a-size-and-also-of-striking-beauty-they-image233635166.html
  • The largest moth in the World the Atlas Moth in the Butterfly House in Key West Butterfly House in the Florida Keys, - Stock ImageThe largest moth in the World the Atlas Moth in the Butterfly House in Key West Butterfly House in the Florida Keys, Florida USAThe largest moth in the World the Atlas Moth in the Butterfly House in Key West Butterfly House in the Florida Keys, Florida USAhttps://www.alamy.com/licenses-and-pricing/?v=1https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-the-largest-moth-in-the-world-the-atlas-moth-in-the-butterfly-house-31201753.html
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  • . Birds of other lands, reptiles, fishes, jointed animals and lower forms. Zoology; Birds; Reptiles; Fishes. Pte/0 it C. N. Mavr„rr:Q GREAT PEACOCK-MOTH Broivn iv.th paU borders. The largest moth found in Europe [Smyrna. Fhilo h Or R IC ShufeUt] POLYPHEMUS MOTH On /eat'es of Tinden-tree, juu out of cocoon. A narli'C of North America llf'ashingtcn. Please note that these images are extracted from scanned page images that may have been digitally enhanced for readability - coloration and appearance of these illustrations may not perfectly resemble the original work. Cornish, C. J. (Charles John - Stock Image. Birds of other lands, reptiles, fishes, jointed animals and lower forms. Zoology; Birds; Reptiles; Fishes. Pte/0 it C. N. Mavr„rr:Q GREAT PEACOCK-MOTH Broivn iv.th paU borders. The largest moth found in Europe [Smyrna. Fhilo h Or R IC ShufeUt] POLYPHEMUS MOTH On /eat'es of Tinden-tree, juu out of cocoon. A narli'C of North America llf'ashingtcn. Please note that these images are extracted from scanned page images that may have been digitally enhanced for readability - coloration and appearance of these illustrations may not perfectly resemble the original work. Cornish, C. J. (Charles John. Birds of other lands, reptiles, fishes, jointed animals and lower forms. Zoology; Birds; Reptiles; Fishes. Pte/0 it C. N. Mavr„rr:Q GREAT PEACOCK-MOTH Broivn iv.th paU borders. The largest moth found in Europe [Smyrna. Fhilo h Or R IC ShufeUt] POLYPHEMUS MOTH On /eat'es of Tinden-tree, juu out of cocoon. A narli'C of North America llf'ashingtcn. Please note that these images are extracted from scanned page images that may have been digitally enhanced for readability - coloration and appearance of these illustrations may not perfectly resemble the original work. Cornish, C. J. (Charles Johnhttps://www.alamy.com/licenses-and-pricing/?v=1https://www.alamy.com/birds-of-other-lands-reptiles-fishes-jointed-animals-and-lower-forms-zoology-birds-reptiles-fishes-pte0-it-c-n-mavrrrq-great-peacock-moth-broivn-ivth-pau-borders-the-largest-moth-found-in-europe-smyrna-fhilo-h-or-r-ic-shufeut-polyphemus-moth-on-eates-of-tinden-tree-juu-out-of-cocoon-a-narlic-of-north-america-llfashingtcn-please-note-that-these-images-are-extracted-from-scanned-page-images-that-may-have-been-digitally-enhanced-for-readability-coloration-and-appearance-of-these-illustrations-may-not-perfectly-resemble-the-original-work-cornish-c-j-charles-john-image232156116.html
  • The largest moth in the World the Atlas Moth in the Butterfly House in Key West Butterfly House in the Florida Keys, - Stock ImageThe largest moth in the World the Atlas Moth in the Butterfly House in Key West Butterfly House in the Florida Keys, Florida USAThe largest moth in the World the Atlas Moth in the Butterfly House in Key West Butterfly House in the Florida Keys, Florida USAhttps://www.alamy.com/licenses-and-pricing/?v=1https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-the-largest-moth-in-the-world-the-atlas-moth-in-the-butterfly-house-31192004.html
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What is the largest moth in North America?

Which group of moths are the largest in North America? The Cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia) with a wingspan of 5-6 inches, is the largest moth found in North America. They are a member of Saturniidae family, or giant silk moths, and inhabit hardwood forests east of the Rocky Mountains in the U.S. and Canada.

How big is a luna moth? The Luna Moth (Actias luna), with its incredible size (3-4.5-inch wingspan), sea-foam green to yellow color, and long tails, is one of the most spectacular moths found in North America.

What is the smallest moth in the world? How big is the world’s smallest moth? The current record holder is the Stigmella maya, and the forewing measures just 1.2 millimetres. It is found in Yucatan in Mexico. This species is part of a group called microlepidoptera – the smallest moths and butterflies in the world.

What is the largest moth in North America? – Related Questions

Can moths eat humans?

Moths and butterflies are potentially dangerous to people in one context: eating them. While most butterflies and moths are likely non-toxic to hungry humans, a few species — like the familiar monarch butterfly (Family Nymphalidae) — feed on poisonous or unpalatable plants as larvae.

Do giant moths bite?

Most adult moths aren’t physically able to bite you. Injury from exposure to these moths’ spines can be significant. Giant silkworm moth larvae and flannel moth caterpillars are specifically noted for their ability to cause a painful sting. Most types of moths are only poisonous if they’re consumed.

What are the huge moths called?

The title for largest moth in the world is split between two different species: the atlas moth (Attacus atlas) and Thysania agrippina, which is commonly known as the great owlet or white witch moth.

Are emperor moths rare?

The Emperor moth is a widespread, but never very common, moth of heathland, moorland, woodland rides, sand dunes and grassland scrub. A very large moth, the female can have a wingspan of up to 10cm, but the male is smaller, with large, feathery antennae.

What is the largest caterpillar in North America?

Known as the hickory horned devil, it is the largest caterpillar in North America and can measure over five inches long. It may look a little creepy, but it is harmless to humans and transforms into the beautiful regal moth.

Is a moth a butterfly?

Moths and butterflies both belong to the order Lepidoptera, but there are numerous physical and behavioral differences between the two insect types. On the behavioral side, moths are nocturnal and butterflies are diurnal (active during the day). Moths are stout and fuzzy; butterflies are slender and smooth.

What’s the difference between a moth and a butterfly?

Butterflies tend to fold their wings vertically up over their backs. Moths tend to hold their wings in a tent-like fashion that hides the abdomen. Butterflies are typically larger and have more colorful patterns on their wings. Moths are typically smaller with drab-colored wings.

Are Luna moths harmful?

Luna moths are the charismatic megafauna of the moth world. They’re big and flashy and easy to spot, as well as being quite harmless.

Do Luna moths come out during the day?

A luna moth cuts its way out of a cocoon using tiny serrated spurs on its wings. Usually emerging in the morning, the moth hangs and rests through the day to allow its wings to inflate with blood before it flies off at night to seek a mate.

Is it rare to see a luna moth?

Luna moths are not rare, but are rarely seen due to their very brief (7–10 day) adult lives and nocturnal flying time.

What is the cutest moth in the world?

The Rosy Maple Moth May Be the Cutest Bug Ever.

Why is a moth not a butterfly?

What is the difference between butterflies and moths? Butterflies usually have ‘club-shaped’ antennae while most moths have feathery or tapering ones. No UK butterflies have feathery antennae, but some butterflies and moths have rather similar shaped antennae (e.g. Dingy Skipper and Six-spot Burnet).

What is the most beautiful butterfly?

The blue morpho is known all over the world to be one of the world’s most beautiful butterflies, and that’s because of its bright blue color on the upperside of its wings. The underside of the blue morpho’s wings looks different with a brown color and eyespots.

Is it bad to have moths in your house?

Moths aren’t the most harmful pest you can find in your household, but they can cause plenty of damage to clothes, food, and other belongings. If you have allergies, moths can be a nuisance to your symptoms. Skin problems due to caterpillars and moths.

Do moths feel pain?

They don’t feel ‘pain,’ but may feel irritation and probably can sense if they are damaged. Even so, they certainly cannot suffer because they don’t have emotions.

Are moths intelligent?

A new study finds that moths can remember things they learned when they were caterpillars — even though the process of metamorphosis essentially turns their brains and bodies to soup. The finding suggests moths and butterflies may be more intelligent than scientists believed.

Why am I getting moths in my bedroom?

The moths you actually see flying, are the final stage of their life cycle, looking for something suitable on which to lay more eggs. In most cases, clothes moths are introduced into rooms by people who bring in contaminated items. Consequently, if clothes moths keep on appearing in your house, you must take action.

Are there moths that drink blood?

Yes indeed, there are moths that feed on the blood of vertebrates, including humans. All of them, including the blood-drinkers, feed normally by piercing fruit to suck the juice. Blood-drinking in these creatures is facultative, not obligate. Vampire moths are being studied extensively in the laboratory of Dr.

Where do big moths live?

They avoid light and are most commonly found in dark locations such as basements, attics and closets. Within these locations, moths can be found in the folds of fabrics or hiding in corners. Moths are capable of infesting a home long before their populations are noticed.

Can moths hurt you in your sleep?

No, not really. You see, moths are as safe as it gets. They lack all the “dangerous” body parts like fangs, mouth, claws, pincers, stingers, and other body parts that could potentially hurt you.

How does a moth become a butterfly?

One day, the caterpillar stops eating, hangs upside down from a twig or leaf and spins itself a silky cocoon or molts into a shiny chrysalis. Within its protective casing, the caterpillar radically transforms its body, eventually emerging as a butterfly or moth.

Источник: https://cementanswers.com/what-is-the-largest-moth-in-north-america/

Largest moth in north america -

  All photographs are © copyright 1996 - 2020  Pete Honl.

  Norwegian Rosemaling

 

  With a wingspan of 5 to 6 inches, the cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia) is the largest North American moth. It is a member of the family Saturniidae. Cecropia moths are referred to as silkworm moths. 

Although these moths are common throughout North America, you don't often see them because they fly only at night. However, because a cecropia moth is colorful as well as large, when you do see one for the first time you will remember it forever!   

Like most moths, they are attracted to bright lights. This is where most people encounter them for the first time. 

 

 
The adult cecropia moth shown here is a female. She has just emerged from her cocoon and expanded her wings. She will not live long (about two weeks) because the adult cecropia cannot eat. The purpose of the adult stage is to mate and lay eggs.
 

  Rosemaling

  click any thumbnail for larger image

In northern Minnesota, the cecropia moths emerge from their cocoons during the first occurrence of hot humid weather in late May or early June. Late at night, the female emits a scent called a pheromone that will attract a male moth. The male senses the pheromone with his delicate antennae. He is so attracted to the scent he can find a female from a distance of a mile away! The mated pair will remain together throughout the following day.

 

A female cecropia can lay more than one hundred eggs. They are usually placed in small groups on the underside of leaves. Depending upon the weather, it takes seven to fourteen days for the eggs to hatch. The newly hatched caterpillars or larva are black and approximately the size of a mosquito.

 

 

Cecropia larva have many enemies. This newly hatched caterpillar is the victim of a tiny spider. Unlike some other moths, cecropia have so many enemies they never become a pest.

 

This caterpillar is completing its first molt. Before the caterpillar is ready to spin a cocoon, it will molt several times. The stages of a caterpillar's life between molts are referred to as instars. Notice how the caterpillar's colors are changing from its original black coloration to a green-orange color.

 

 Although the caterpillars increases in size with every molt, a predator is always waiting for a feast. This bug easily overpowers a defenseless caterpillar.

 

 A cecropia caterpillar's skin doesn't grow. When a caterpillar becomes so large that its skin is stretched to the limit, it's time to molt again. It will spin a silken pad and attach itself to the pad. The caterpillar will remain still for several days in this position while it is developing new skin. Then, when it is ready, with the old skin attached to the silk pad, the caterpillar will literally walk out of its old skin.

 

 With his new loose fitting attire, this caterpillar can begin to grow again...

 

 And grow he does! Now he is almost five inches long! He makes a quick meal of a leaf.

In late summer, the caterpillar is ready to spin a cocoon. It will spend several days spinning a tough, brown, weather-resistant home. Inside the cocoon the caterpillar will pupate and prepare itself for winter and the miraculous metamorphosis in the coming spring.

 

The winters here are very cold. Minus thirty degrees Fahrenheit isn't uncommon. The structure of the pupa inside the cocoon changes to allow it to withstand these temperatures. Like me, it is waiting for a beautiful spring day!

 


Источник: http://mncable.net/~petehonl/cecropia/

How to Attract Luna Moths to Your Garden

If you have seen a live luna moth, consider yourself lucky. This large, beautiful moth is part of the Saturniidae family. It is sometimes called the American Moon Moth. Once a very common sight, the luna moth is considered to be endangered in some areas, although it is not officially on any endangered species list.

About Luna Moths

The luna moth's sole purpose is to mate, so it neither offers any specific benefits nor poses any threats to gardens. Seen primarily during spring and early summer, the moth typically produces two generations each year. Male luna moths are particularly strong fliers and may fly over relatively long distances. Female luna moths release a sex-attractant pheromone that is used to attract the male moth from a great distance. The mating usually occurs during the first couple of hours after midnight.

Once the moth mates and lays its eggs, it dies. In about 10 days, the eggs hatch into caterpillars, which immediately begin to feed, grow, and molt (somewhat similar to how birds molt). The luna moth molts about five times for three to four weeks until it is about 2.5 inches long. At this time, it begins spinning a silken cocoon wrapped in a leaf. It cocoons for two to three weeks before emerging as an adult moth. A luna moth cuts its way out of a cocoon using tiny serrated spurs on its wings. Usually emerging in the morning, the moth hangs and rests through the day to allow its wings to inflate with blood before it flies off at night to seek a mate.

It will live for only about a week as an adult, during which time it mates, and the female lays its eggs. Most female luna moths lay about 200 eggs in small batches on the undersides of leaves.

Fun Fact

Once it becomes an adult, the luna moth no longer feeds at all. In fact, it has no mouth for feeding and no digestive system to handle food, which also means you won't catch them eating your clothing like other types of moths.

Identifying the Luna Moth

The luna is one of the largest moths in North America, with a wingspan of 4.5 inches. Because there are so few, and they are nocturnal insects, it is very rare for people to see this unique moth, just as it is to see the elusive hummingbird moth. Its name, "luna," meaning moon, is attributed both to its nocturnal nature as well as the crescent in the eyespot of its wings that resembles a crescent moon. It can be identified by several characteristics:

  • Its body is white, its long legs are pinkish, and its large wings are translucent and lime green.
  • The hind wings have eyespots and long tails to confuse predators.
  • The male's antennae are larger and bushier than the female's.
  • The luna moth is found in forested areas in the Northern hemisphere. In southern Canada, it can be found from Nova Scotia to Saskatchewan. In the United States, it can be seen in every eastern state from Maine to Florida and as far west as Texas.

How to Attract Luna Moths

In their larval stage, luna moths prefer to feed on the leaves of certain nut and fruit-bearing shrubs and trees, but they do not pose a threat to any plantings because of their small numbers. These are favorite trees of the luna moth, and along with the many flowering plants they are attracted to, such as honeysuckle and impatiens, you'll find plenty of specimens to create a beautiful moth garden:

  • American beech
  • American chestnut
  • Black cherry
  • Black walnut
  • Hickory
  • Paper birch
  • Persimmon
  • Red maple
  • Smooth sumac
  • Sweetgum
  • White oak
  • Willow

Warning

Avoid using insecticides and herbicides (even organic methods such as insecticidal soap or neem oil) on your moth garden's trees and shrubs because the ingredients may kill luna moth caterpillars.

Predators of the Luna Moth

During its caterpillar stage, it deters predators by rearing its front end in a "sphinx-like" stance, making a clicking noise with its mandibles, and regurgitating a distasteful fluid. Additionally, the luna caterpillars are protected from predators by their green coloration, which often camouflages them within their natural surroundings. The luna moth's natural enemies are many, and include nocturnal creatures:

  • Bald-faced hornets
  • Bats
  • Fiery searcher ground beetles
  • Owls
  • Parasitic wasps
  • Rodents

Avoid Population Control

Due to its beauty, the luna moth is not considered a pest, and control efforts are not necessary or desirable. In fact, the use of pesticides, loss of habitat, and pollution are some of the reasons the moth is a rare sight. Although the luna moth larvae are large caterpillars that feed on the leaves of many shrubs and trees, their populations don't grow large enough to be a source of significant damage or destruction.

The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Callaghan, Jennifer. "Native Animal Of The Month - The Luna Moth". Urbanecologycenter.Org, 2021, https://urbanecologycenter.org/blog/native-animal-of-the-month-the-luna-moth.html.

Источник: https://www.thespruce.com/the-non-pest-luna-moth-2656240

Species Spotlight - Cecropia Moth

One has to do with how moths use moonlight to navigate. To a moth, the moon is essentially an infinite distance away. Keeping it in a fixed position relative to themselves they use its light as a guidepost, much in the same way people used the North Star in days of yore. From the moth’s perspective, human lights mimic moonlight and overwhelm it’s ability to orient. Bright artificial illumination can act as a super-stimulant and a disoriented moth will fly in circles around it in a constant attempt to maintain a direct flight path.

It Was a Very Good Year.

A cecropia moth packs a lot of living into a year. In fact it packs all of it’s living into a one-year life cycle. Considering at least 10 months of that year are spent encased in a cocoon, they really only have a couple months to do what needs doing to create the next generation of moths. They will take several forms and have to survive a host of predators and weather conditions to succeed. Their Homerian Odyssey begins as a tiny, white egg. Sometime in June or July in the Northeast, female cecropia moths spread around one-hundred of them, usually in groups of 2 to 6 on both sides of a leaf of one of it’s host plants (including oaks, cherry, beech, apple, and button bush). In 2-weeks, plus or minus, the eggs hatch tiny, hungry black caterpillars. Their first meal is the egg shell they just emerged from. Only a handful of them will reach adulthood. Importantly, this time of year also coincides to when migratory birds are feeding their chicks, and caterpillars are a prized meal. Packed with protein, fats, and other nutrients, caterpillars are essential to birds successfully rearing the next generation of songsters.

The Larva - the Instars of the Show.

If they aren’t picked-off by predators, the voracious ricegrain sized caterpillars will grow exponentially over the next month as they devour host-plant leaves. Their skin can only stretch so far as they grow, requiring them to molt through 4 separate ‘instar’ stages. To do so, it spins and attaches itself to a silken pad. It remains there for several days as it creates a new exoskeleton. When ready, it then literally just walks out of its old skin and starts eating again. As they grow in size through each instar, they change in color from black, to yellow, to green. By late August, they can be 5-inches long, with multi-colored spikes, balls, and black hairs along the length of their body. The caterpillar is not poisonous, but it looks funky enough to ward off some predators.

Источник: https://www.nps.gov/articles/species-spotlight-cecropia-moth.htm

Meet the Cecropia Moth, the Largest Moth in North America

Butterflies get all the love. While the sight of a monarch or a painted lady can set human hearts aflutter, moths are often dismissed as a drab nocturnal nuisance, something that exists only to engulf porch lights and invade personal space.

It's worth looking past moth mythology, though, and seeing these strange insects with fresh eyes. They come in about 160,000 species worldwide, compared with roughly 20,000 species of butterflies. Most moths are nocturnal, and although many do have subtler coloring than their butterfly cousins, they're also far more diverse, vivid and captivating than stereotypes suggest.

The Beauty of the Cecropia Moth

In North America, one eye-catching example of moth glamour — and girth — is the cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia). With a wingspan up to 7 inches (18 cm), this burly lepidopteran is the continent's largest native moth. It naturally occurs in hardwood forests from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic coast, ranging as far north as Nova Scotia and as far south as Florida.

Pictured above is a male cecropia moth, which have larger antennae than females. Yet while that photo captures some of the cecropia's distinct coloring and charisma, this recent video from Instagram user hleexyooj offers a clearer sense of scale:

The video has also appeared in a popular Reddit post, where commenters both marveled and shuddered at the moth's size. "It's beautiful but if it landed on me I'd spaz out like an idiot," one wrote. Thankfully, cecropia moths — like most moths — don't really cause trouble for people, aside from crowding our electric lights in spring and early summer. Adults only live for a few weeks and are incapable of eating, since the sole purpose of their life stage is to mate and lay eggs. The caterpillars are also harmless, and despite feeding on leaves all summer, their naturally low abundance prevents significant damage to plants. According to the Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, "this species is not considered a serious pest in any parts of its range."

Reproduction

Low population density can be a problem when looking for love, so male cecropia moths must rely on powerful senses to sniff out a female's pheromones — which he can detect from more than a mile away. Unfortunately for him, however, some bolas spiders can mimic the pheromones of a female cecropia moth, thus luring unsuspecting suitors into their clutches.

After the surviving moths partner up and mate, a female can lay more than 100 eggs, which she attaches in small groups to the leaves or stems of various host plants. Those eggs should hatch within one to two weeks, releasing larvae that then go through a series of life stages known as "instars," changing from black to yellow to green as they expand in size.

And if you thought adult cecropia moths were big, beautiful and bizarre, wait until you see their caterpillars:

Finally, at the end of summer, the full-grown, roughly 5-inch-long caterpillar will seal itself in a cocoon. An adult cecropia moth will emerge the following spring, immediately plunging into the fast-paced world of adulthood. If you're lucky enough to see one, remember there's no need to flail or freak out. Just sit back and enjoy its beauty — and maybe turn off your porch light.

Источник: https://www.treehugger.com/cecropia-moth-largest-moth-north-america-4864471

What is the largest moth in North America?

Which group of moths are the largest in North America? The Cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia) with a wingspan of 5-6 inches, is the largest moth found in North America. They are a member of Saturniidae family, or giant silk moths, and inhabit hardwood forests east of the Rocky Mountains in the U.S. and Canada.

How big is a luna moth? The Luna Moth (Actias luna), with its incredible size (3-4.5-inch wingspan), sea-foam green to yellow color, and long tails, is one of the most spectacular moths found in North America.

What is the smallest moth in the world? How big is the world’s smallest moth? The current record holder is the Stigmella maya, and the forewing measures just 1.2 millimetres. It is found in Yucatan in Mexico. This species is part of a group called microlepidoptera – the smallest moths and butterflies in the world.

What is the largest moth in North America? – Related Questions

Can moths eat humans?

Moths and butterflies are potentially dangerous to people in one context: eating them. While most butterflies and moths are likely non-toxic to hungry humans, a few species — like the familiar monarch butterfly (Family Nymphalidae) — feed on poisonous or unpalatable plants as larvae.

Do giant moths bite?

Most adult moths aren’t physically able to bite you. Injury from exposure to these moths’ spines can be significant. Giant silkworm moth larvae and flannel moth caterpillars are specifically noted for their ability to cause a painful sting. Most types of moths are only poisonous if they’re consumed.

What are the huge moths called?

The title for largest moth in the world is split between two different species: the atlas moth (Attacus atlas) and Thysania agrippina, which is commonly known as the great owlet or white witch moth.

Are emperor moths rare?

The Emperor moth is a widespread, but never very common, moth of heathland, moorland, woodland rides, sand dunes and grassland scrub. A very large moth, the female can have a wingspan of up to 10cm, but the male is smaller, with large, feathery antennae.

What is the largest caterpillar in North America?

Known as the hickory horned devil, it is the largest caterpillar in North America and can measure over five inches long. It may look a little creepy, but it is harmless to humans and transforms into the beautiful regal moth.

Is a moth a butterfly?

Moths and butterflies both belong to the order Lepidoptera, but there are numerous physical and behavioral differences between the two insect types. On the behavioral side, moths are nocturnal and butterflies are diurnal (active during the day). Moths are stout and fuzzy; butterflies are slender and smooth.

What’s the difference between a moth and a butterfly?

Butterflies tend to fold their wings vertically up over their backs. Moths tend to hold their wings in a tent-like fashion that hides the abdomen. Butterflies are typically larger and have more colorful patterns on their wings. Moths are typically smaller with drab-colored wings.

Are Luna moths harmful?

Luna moths are the charismatic megafauna of the moth world. They’re big and flashy and easy to spot, as well as being quite harmless.

Do Luna moths come out during the day?

A luna moth cuts its way out of a cocoon using tiny serrated spurs on its wings. Usually emerging in the morning, the moth hangs and rests through the day to allow its wings to inflate with blood before it flies off at night to seek a mate.

Is it rare to see a luna moth?

Luna moths are not rare, but are rarely seen due to their very brief (7–10 day) adult lives and nocturnal flying time.

What is the cutest moth in the world?

The Rosy Maple Moth May Be the Cutest Bug Ever.

Why is a moth not a butterfly?

What is the difference between butterflies and moths? Butterflies usually have ‘club-shaped’ antennae while most moths have feathery or tapering ones. No UK butterflies have feathery antennae, but some butterflies and moths have rather similar shaped antennae (e.g. Dingy Skipper and Six-spot Burnet).

What is the most beautiful butterfly?

The blue morpho is known all over the world to be one of the world’s most beautiful butterflies, and that’s because of its bright blue color on the upperside of its wings. The underside of the blue morpho’s wings looks different with a brown color and eyespots.

Is it bad to have moths in your house?

Moths aren’t the most harmful pest you can find in your household, but they can cause plenty of damage to clothes, food, and other belongings. If you have allergies, moths can be a nuisance to your symptoms. Skin problems due to caterpillars and moths.

Do moths feel pain?

They don’t feel ‘pain,’ but may feel irritation and probably can sense if they are damaged. Even so, they certainly cannot suffer because they don’t have emotions.

Are moths intelligent?

A new study finds that moths can remember things they learned when they were caterpillars — even though the process of metamorphosis essentially turns their brains and bodies to soup. The finding suggests moths and butterflies may be more intelligent than scientists believed.

Why am I getting moths in my bedroom?

The moths you actually see flying, are the final stage of their life cycle, looking for something suitable on which to lay more eggs. In most cases, clothes moths are introduced into rooms by people who bring in contaminated items. Consequently, if clothes moths keep on appearing in your house, you must take action.

Are there moths that drink blood?

Yes indeed, there are moths that feed on the blood of vertebrates, including humans. All of them, including the blood-drinkers, feed normally by piercing fruit to suck the juice. Blood-drinking in these creatures is facultative, not obligate. Vampire moths are being studied extensively in the laboratory of Dr.

Where do big moths live?

They avoid light and are most commonly found in dark locations such as basements, attics and closets. Within these locations, moths can be found in the folds of fabrics or hiding in corners. Moths are capable of infesting a home long before their populations are noticed.

Can moths hurt you in your sleep?

No, not really. You see, moths are as safe as it gets. They lack all the “dangerous” body parts like fangs, mouth, claws, pincers, stingers, and other body parts that could potentially hurt you.

How does a moth become a butterfly?

One day, the caterpillar stops eating, hangs upside down from a twig or leaf and spins itself a silky cocoon or molts into a shiny chrysalis. Within its protective casing, the caterpillar radically transforms its body, eventually emerging as a butterfly or moth.

Источник: https://cementanswers.com/what-is-the-largest-moth-in-north-america/
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  • Natural history of animals; . try. The larvae of several other moths, most ofthem of large size, are now raised, not only in Asia,but also in Europe and in the United States, for thepurpose of producing silk. The Cecropia Moth, the Promethea Moth, the LunaMoth, and the Polyphemus Moth are all large andmagnificent species, — the largest in North America.They have the antennaebroadly feathered on bothsides, and beautiful eye-likespots on the wings. Allbut the Promethea expandfive or six inches, and thelatter expands about fourinches. They appear inJune. The Cecropia is dusky brown, and near them - Stock ImageNatural history of animals; . try. The larvae of several other moths, most ofthem of large size, are now raised, not only in Asia,but also in Europe and in the United States, for thepurpose of producing silk. The Cecropia Moth, the Promethea Moth, the LunaMoth, and the Polyphemus Moth are all large andmagnificent species, — the largest in North America.They have the antennaebroadly feathered on bothsides, and beautiful eye-likespots on the wings. Allbut the Promethea expandfive or six inches, and thelatter expands about fourinches. They appear inJune. The Cecropia is dusky brown, and near themNatural history of animals; . try. The larvae of several other moths, most ofthem of large size, are now raised, not only in Asia,but also in Europe and in the United States, for thepurpose of producing silk. The Cecropia Moth, the Promethea Moth, the LunaMoth, and the Polyphemus Moth are all large andmagnificent species, — the largest in North America.They have the antennaebroadly feathered on bothsides, and beautiful eye-likespots on the wings. Allbut the Promethea expandfive or six inches, and thelatter expands about fourinches. They appear inJune. The Cecropia is dusky brown, and near themhttps://www.alamy.com/licenses-and-pricing/?v=1https://www.alamy.com/natural-history-of-animals-try-the-larvae-of-several-other-moths-most-ofthem-of-large-size-are-now-raised-not-only-in-asiabut-also-in-europe-and-in-the-united-states-for-thepurpose-of-producing-silk-the-cecropia-moth-the-promethea-moth-the-lunamoth-and-the-polyphemus-moth-are-all-large-andmagnificent-species-the-largest-in-north-americathey-have-the-antennaebroadly-feathered-on-bothsides-and-beautiful-eye-likespots-on-the-wings-allbut-the-promethea-expandfive-or-six-inches-and-thelatter-expands-about-fourinches-they-appear-injune-the-cecropia-is-dusky-brown-and-near-them-image339066168.html
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  • . The Canadian field-naturalist. Natural history. 1906] Natlre Stl'dy—No. 37. NATLRK STL'nV No WWII '49 The Cecropia Emperor Moth (Samia ncnipid, Linn ) Bv Arthcr Gibson, Assisianl Entomologist, Experimental Farm, Ottawa.. Cecropia Emperor .Moih and Cocoon, reduced in size. Amonuf our native insect.s, probably none attract greater attention from those who have made no study whatever of ento- mology than the large Emperor Moths, the caterpillars of all ot which are true silP-worms. These moths are the largest we have in North America, and, being of such a size and also of striking beauty, they  - Stock Image. The Canadian field-naturalist. Natural history. 1906] Natlre Stl'dy—No. 37. NATLRK STL'nV No WWII '49 The Cecropia Emperor Moth (Samia ncnipid, Linn ) Bv Arthcr Gibson, Assisianl Entomologist, Experimental Farm, Ottawa.. Cecropia Emperor .Moih and Cocoon, reduced in size. Amonuf our native insect.s, probably none attract greater attention from those who have made no study whatever of ento- mology than the large Emperor Moths, the caterpillars of all ot which are true silP-worms. These moths are the largest we have in North America, and, being of such a size and also of striking beauty, they . The Canadian field-naturalist. Natural history. 1906] Natlre Stl'dy—No. 37. NATLRK STL'nV No WWII '49 The Cecropia Emperor Moth (Samia ncnipid, Linn ) Bv Arthcr Gibson, Assisianl Entomologist, Experimental Farm, Ottawa.. Cecropia Emperor .Moih and Cocoon, reduced in size. Amonuf our native insect.s, probably none attract greater attention from those who have made no study whatever of ento- mology than the large Emperor Moths, the caterpillars of all ot which are true silP-worms. These moths are the largest we have in North America, and, being of such a size and also of striking beauty, they https://www.alamy.com/licenses-and-pricing/?v=1https://www.alamy.com/the-canadian-field-naturalist-natural-history-1906-natlre-stldyno-37-natlrk-stlnv-no-wwii-49-the-cecropia-emperor-moth-samia-ncnipid-linn-bv-arthcr-gibson-assisianl-entomologist-experimental-farm-ottawa-cecropia-emperor-moih-and-cocoon-reduced-in-size-amonuf-our-native-insects-probably-none-attract-greater-attention-from-those-who-have-made-no-study-whatever-of-ento-mology-than-the-large-emperor-moths-the-caterpillars-of-all-ot-which-are-true-silp-worms-these-moths-are-the-largest-we-have-in-north-america-and-being-of-such-a-size-and-also-of-striking-beauty-they-image233635166.html
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  • . Birds of other lands, reptiles, fishes, jointed animals and lower forms;. Zoology; Birds; Reptiles; Fishes. Pte/0 it C. N. Mavr„rr:Q GREAT PEACOCK-MOTH Broivn iv.th paU borders. The largest moth found in Europe [Smyrna. Fhilo h Or R IC ShufeUt] POLYPHEMUS MOTH On /eat'es of Tinden-tree, juu out of cocoon. A narli'C of North America llf'ashingtcn. Please note that these images are extracted from scanned page images that may have been digitally enhanced for readability - coloration and appearance of these illustrations may not perfectly resemble the original work.. Cornish, C. J. (Charles John - Stock Image. Birds of other lands, reptiles, fishes, jointed animals and lower forms;. Zoology; Birds; Reptiles; Fishes. Pte/0 it C. N. Mavr„rr:Q GREAT PEACOCK-MOTH Broivn iv.th paU borders. The largest moth found in Europe [Smyrna. Fhilo h Or R IC ShufeUt] POLYPHEMUS MOTH On /eat'es of Tinden-tree, juu out of cocoon. A narli'C of North America llf'ashingtcn. Please note that these images are extracted from scanned page images that may have been digitally enhanced for readability - coloration and appearance of these illustrations may not perfectly resemble the original work.. Cornish, C. J. (Charles John. Birds of other lands, reptiles, fishes, jointed animals and lower forms;. Zoology; Birds; Reptiles; Fishes. Pte/0 it C. N. Mavr„rr:Q GREAT PEACOCK-MOTH Broivn iv.th paU borders. The largest moth found in Europe [Smyrna. Fhilo h Or R IC ShufeUt] POLYPHEMUS MOTH On /eat'es of Tinden-tree, juu out of cocoon. A narli'C of North America llf'ashingtcn. Please note that these images are extracted from scanned page images that may have been digitally enhanced for readability - coloration and appearance of these illustrations may not perfectly resemble the original work.. Cornish, C. J. (Charles Johnhttps://www.alamy.com/licenses-and-pricing/?v=1https://www.alamy.com/birds-of-other-lands-reptiles-fishes-jointed-animals-and-lower-forms-zoology-birds-reptiles-fishes-pte0-it-c-n-mavrrrq-great-peacock-moth-broivn-ivth-pau-borders-the-largest-moth-found-in-europe-smyrna-fhilo-h-or-r-ic-shufeut-polyphemus-moth-on-eates-of-tinden-tree-juu-out-of-cocoon-a-narlic-of-north-america-llfashingtcn-please-note-that-these-images-are-extracted-from-scanned-page-images-that-may-have-been-digitally-enhanced-for-readability-coloration-and-appearance-of-these-illustrations-may-not-perfectly-resemble-the-original-work-cornish-c-j-charles-john-image232156116.html
  • The largest moth in the World the Atlas Moth in the Butterfly House in Key West Butterfly House in the Florida Keys, - Stock ImageThe largest moth in the World the Atlas Moth in the Butterfly House in Key West Butterfly House in the Florida Keys, Florida USAThe largest moth in the World the Atlas Moth in the Butterfly House in Key West Butterfly House in the Florida Keys, Florida USAhttps://www.alamy.com/licenses-and-pricing/?v=1https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-the-largest-moth-in-the-world-the-atlas-moth-in-the-butterfly-house-31192004.html
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Moonlight Miracles

Butterflies have cousins that are just as beautiful, much more numerous in species, with body shapes so diverse it boggles the mind. A number of years ago, I enjoyed my first moth program given by a local north Jersey expert, and I was hooked. I was so fascinated that I became involved learning more about these (mostly) nighttime critters. Although we are not experts, my wife and I and several friends now offer moth nights at both High Point State Park and the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge in Sussex County (check their websites for this years’ events - being scheduled for July and/or August). The way a moth night works is that special lighting is set up in an appropriate habitat (perhaps near a wooded or wet area) just before dusk. Sheets are hung to allow moths to alight on them for easy viewing. Lights are turned on at sunset to get ready for attracting the denizens of the night. As darkness settles in, an inside lecture is given. The program, affectionately titled “Mothing 101”, is geared for all age groups and expertise — from families with young children to seniors to serious naturalists. It’s very low key but will help one to understand what they are about to experience — perhaps for the first time!

Most people prefer to keep their encounters with “night life” as brief as possible. The frightening mass of flying bugs swirling around the porch light must be barred from entering the house with frantic door slams. But nocturnal insect life represents a large part of our natural world that is spectacular and easily observable by all.

Everyone identifies butterflies with a warm and fuzzy feeling. But moths are just as beautiful—and important to our environment. Yes, there are some drab moths, but there are mundane looking butterflies as well. For every butterfly species in North America, there are approximately fifteen species of moths. Butterflies look like, well, butterflies. Moths, on the other hand, come in a huge variety of body shapes and sizes. Some don’t even remotely resemble anything one would normally equate to this family of insects. Moths are divided into micro and macro categories. Some silk moths are extremely large and may range anywhere from three to five inches across. Micro moths, on the other hand, are so small they appear like a tiny piece of fluff drifting by. Some moths even pretend to be something they are not—like a hummingbird. There is a species of sphinx moth known also as a hummingbird moth that imitates the movement and behavior of the ruby-throated hummingbird that many of us enjoy in our flower gardens. This moth flies in a backward and forward motion just as a hummingbird does and nectars in the same way as its namesake, making it very easy to confuse with the real thing!

Most people view butterflies as cute and harmless, but moths usually do not receive those high accolades. After all, they are creatures of the dark! What the average person does not realize is that, generally speaking, moths are just butterflies with fur coats! Butterflies have evolved with the sun to warm them. Moths need a little something extra for the cool nights when they fly. However, not all moths are nocturnal. Many species are day flyers that might be flushed up when walking slowing through a meadow, just as colorful as their neighbor butterflies. Note: moths cannot bite. But they can tickle—important to consider when participating in a moth night.

Moths are also, like butterflies, pollinators, and it's important to remember their role in the reproductive lives of flowers and food plants that humans need, especially considering the significant population declines that pollinators throughout this country have been experiencing.

Moths and butterflies are so similar that they are classified in the same biological Order, which is Lepidoptera. They both have the same life cycle starting with laying eggs, and then five increasingly larger sizes of caterpillars separated by skin shedding. These five sizes are called instars. They then both pupate. A butterfly pupa is called a chrysalis. A moth pupa is a cocoon. Then the moths and butterflies emerge as flying adults.

So, with all these similarities between butterflies and moths, how do we tell them apart? It’s all in the antennae. Butterflies have club-like enlargements at the ends of their antennae. Moths only have straight or slightly tapering antennae or antennae that is very feathery. Female moths give off pheromones that male moths can detect with their feathery antennae, sometimes from miles away. A pheromone is a chemical substance that is produced, in this case by the female, to influence the behavior of the male of the same species. It is usually a way of attracting a mate.

There are a few species of moths worldwide that are true pests of humanity. However, guilt by association goes a long way! Many people believe all moths to be bad. After all, that’s what eats up your carpet or leaves holes in your favorite sweater, right? Actually, only two species of moths produce most of this damage, and it is the moth larvae or caterpillars that do the munching. Remember, moths can only nectar because they do not have mouths with biting parts. Today’s synthetic carpets lack the natural fibers that enticed hungry caterpillars. However, they might show up if you never clean or vacuum it! Another challenging species are gypsy moths that do considerable damage to trees. They are non-native and were introduced to North America in 1869. Larder moths can invade our pantries and become a pest, but once again, it is the larvae that does the damage. These are also referred to as Indian Meal moths, although they are not native to India. Wax moths can be a pest to beekeepers by munching on beeswax. However, this typically occurs only when hives are in a weakened state.


So, now that you realize how beautiful, interesting and non-threatening moths are, how can you learn more? An excellent starting point would be to procure a copy of the Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America. Moths are pictured in their natural resting posture unlike earlier field guides that illustrated moths as pinned specimens. Natural resting postures make it much easier to identify the moth species. This guide also explains what time of year a species can be observed which is a tremendous help since some species fly only in the spring, some only in the summer, some only in the fall and others in spring, summer and fall. The book is also divided into sections depicting micro and macro moths. Size does matter! At least it does when puzzling over a species and needing a starting point, size is a good place to begin. In the back of the book, there are silhouettes of different types of moths to speed identification. When all else fails for identifying a species using this guide, there are other sources of assistance including online help at Moth Photographers Group or bugguide.net.

Now that we have a resource for learning about and identifying these cool flyers, we need to get out and see them. What attracts moths to light, or the flame, so to speak? Scientists don’t know for sure; there are hundreds of theories. The one I like best is that moths use the brightest object in the sky to navigate for short distances. This may be the moon or the brightest planet or a star or your hundred-watt porch light. Ultraviolet light works best for attracting moths. Standard light bulbs will function for this purpose, but only use unfrosted ones. If you really become serious and want to attract a wide variety of moths, then a professional bulb can be ordered through bioquip.com. Peruse night collection equipment on their website for self-ballasted mercury vapor collecting lamps. These bulbs are 160 watts and fit into an ordinary medium bulb socket. It must be stressed that most outside light fixtures are only rated for a maximum of 100 watts. Therefore, you will need a socket rated for more than 160 watts to utilize these special bulbs. Be careful and never leave your light unattended since the bulb can become very hot. These bulbs are currently priced at approximately $52. Mercury vapor bulbs are not widely available anymore because of the mercury inside the bulb; they must be disposed of properly. If you are less inclined to use mercury vapor but want something stronger than a regular light bulb, there is an alternative. Desert reptile lights, available at most pet stores, are twenty to thirty watts and simulate the desert sun. They give off some ultraviolet and work well for moths. With any ultraviolet light source, one should not stare into it without using ultraviolet shielding glasses.

Field guide: check! Light source: check! What is the best way to view moths coming in? Close focusing binoculars are highly recommended. Many current “moth observers” are utilizing the Pentax Papilio 6.5 x 21-power model that are extremely close focusing. One can focus to about eighteen inches from a subject. Pentax also makes an 8.5 model but the 6.5 works best for insects. They are also great when taking a nature hike where you are seeing things close by (at your feet, for instance) and don’t want to constantly back up or bend over to focus on your subject flower, bird or bug. Current price won’t break the bank, about $100. Since most moth viewing will be at night, a good flashlight is indispensable. Long pants and long sleeve shirts are recommended if you prefer not to be tickled! If you are attempting to photograph a moth, in most instances, less light is better then more. Photographing moths will allow you the ability to work out identification later, in the comfort of your home! Most cameras today have a macro feature. Many moth photographers have found that using a Raynox DCR-150 snap-on macro lens allows them to take the same photograph but from a slightly farther distance. Most critters, large and small, have a comfort zone. If you invade this zone, they will flee, leaving you without a subject. The Raynox allows a photographer to remain outside of the comfort zone of most butterflies and moths (and other interesting insects). Remember, never cast a shadow on your subject. If you do, it will fly. The Raynox is another inexpensive tool (about $65, check your camera compatibility before purchasing one) to make your journey into the natural world more enjoyable.

An extra benefit of using lights to attract moths to your yard is all the other insect life that may join the moths! Aquatic beetles and plant bugs and plant hoppers all show up. Yes, there can be mosquitoes, but so many of the other critters coming to the lights prey on the mosquitoes so they have never been a problem to the human population trying to see and photograph everything else flying around. Every so often, a gray tree frog will take up residence by the lights and find himself an easy meal; another great photo opportunity for us!

It is highly recommended that you do not leave your lights on all night. Lights can have the potential of disrupting the moths breeding cycles should they become too distracted. Since moths are pollinators, they are an extremely important part of nature’s web of life. Bees have been making headlines (in a sad way) for years now due to their declining numbers and the recognition of their importance to pollinating so much of our food supply. However, there are hundreds of other pollinating insects, including moths, that are also in decline. It is unknown at this time exactly how detrimental these declines will be to plants on which we rely, but where light pollution and agriculture meet, science has already shown declines in both the day and nighttime visits of all pollinators. Plant fruit set— the process by which flowers become fruit and potential fruit size is determined—has been proven to be declining in these situations, so it is vitally important to reduce light pollution, even in small ways such as turning off your porch or moth lights.

Another way to encourage moths to visit your yard is to leave your leaf litter on the ground during the winter to allow those over-wintering species to find a place to hang out during the colder parts of the year. Leaving some natural areas throughout the year will give moths a place to hide during the day where they can remain undisturbed.

If you have been a daytime naturalist, why not consider discovering the critters that come out after dark? You will be amazed by the sheer beauty and level of activity right outside your door. Or you can attend a local moth night! National Moth Week (yes, there is such a thing) will be held July 17-25, 2021; check their website for activities close to you. Local, state and national parks are hosting moth nights throughout the summer. Dare to search for the flying denizens of the dark!

Bring a camera with close up capabilities to an upcoming Moth Night. You won’t be disappointed with the photo opportunities!

For more information, the website for North American Butterfly Association now includes information on moths.

This story was first published: Summer, 2019

Источник: https://njskylands.com/wildlife-moths

: Largest moth in north america

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