royal moth

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Saturniidae moth’s caterpillar & Saturnia pavonia moth

The family Saturniidae (order Lepidoptera), commonly known as saturniids, include the largest species of moths such as the giant silkmoths, royal moths and emperor moths. These moths are characterized by large size, heavy bodies covered in hair-like scales, lobed wings, reduced mouthparts and small heads, sometimes brightly colored and often with translucent eyespots on their wings. Together with certain Noctuidae (chiefly Calpinae and Catocalinae, such as the genera Ascalapha, Erebus or Thysania), the Saturniidae contain the largest Lepidoptera, and some of the largest insects alive today.

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9/9/16               Hornworms (larvae) -    Hawk Moths (adults)         

My man says they are a huge bug on my tomato , ME WHERE!

Has already eaten one tomato this size today was mad when it ate all the rest of the stalk and stood up, I had to sneek another one. So we will see in the morning how much it has ate!!!  Love the little hairy (claw) Feet!!!!

Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Bombycoidea (Silkworm, Sphinx, and Royal Moths)
Family Sphingidae (Sphinx Moths)
Other Common Names
Hawk Moths (adults)
Hornworms (larvae)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Sphingidae Latreille, 1802
Explanation of Names
Sphingidae from the type genus Sphinx (Linnaeus), for the Egyptian Sphinx.
Common name “Hornworm” due to the stiff pointy dorsal extension near the end of the abdomen of most larvae.
Numbers
There are 124 described species found in America north of Mexico.(1)
Size
Wingspan 28-175 mm.
Identification
Adult - medium to very large. Body very robust; abdomen usually tapering to a sharp point. Wings usually narrow; forewing sharp-pointed or with an irregular outer margin. No ocelli or tympanal organs. Proboscis usually well developed, extremely long in some species that feed in flowers with deep calyxes. Antennae gradually thicken along length, then become narrower toward tip.
Larva - naked except for a few scattered hairs. Most have a prominent dorsal horn at the tip of abdomen (thus the name, hornworms).
Range
Throughout North America.
Season
Year round in the south
Food
Larvae feed both day and night on many kinds of woody and herbaceous plants.
Adults feed on nectar and some are important pollinators.
Life Cycle
Usually pupate in soil, though some form loose cocoons among leaf litter.
Remarks
Some are active only at night, others at twilight or dawn, and some, such as the clearwings (e.g. genus Hemaris - not to be confused with the Clearwing family, Sesiidae) feed on flower nectar during the day.
Some larvae (hornworms) do serious damage to crop plants (e.g. tomato, tobacco, potato). Hornworms are often attacked by braconid wasp parasitoids.

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6/28/16                         Elm Sphinx - Hodges#7786                                                          

Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Bombycoidea (Silkworm, Sphinx, and Royal Moths)
Family Sphingidae (Sphinx Moths)
Subfamily Sphinginae
Tribe Sphingini
Genus Ceratomia
Species amyntor (Elm Sphinx - Hodges#7786)
Hodges Number
7786

Other Common Names
Four-horned Sphinx (larva)
Size
Wingspan 82-115 mm (1)
Identification
Adult brown overall. Wings light brown with darker brown shading. Whitish PM line on forewing the only complete distinct line; blackish streaks along veins in outer part of forewing. Whitish tint along costa, especially near base. Hindwing brown with dark brown border and incomplete lines. Thorax very fuzzy with dark brown/black edges.

Caterpillar green or brown with 4 spiny horns on thorax and scalelike ridge along back. Body covered with white-tipped granules.
Range
Eastern and central North America: Nova Scotia to Florida, west to New Mexico, north to Saskatchewan
Habitat
Deciduous woodlands
Season
adults fly in June and July in the north; March to October in the south (two broods)
larvae from June to October
Food
Larvae feed on leaves of basswood (Tilia), cherry (Prunus), elm (Ulmus), birch (Betula).
Adults probably do not feed.
Life Cycle
one generation per year in the north; two generations in the south; overwinters as a pupa in underground burrow
1 and 2. Caterpillars. 3. Pupa. 4 Adult