The Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia) is an example of a type of moth referred to more broadly as a giant silk moth (family Saturniidae). It is also North America’s largest native moth, with wingspans of over 6.2″ having been documented! Its distribution in the United States reaches as far west as the Rocky Mountains, and as far north as the maritime provinces of Canada. The caterpillars, which are three to four inches in length, feed heavily on leaves and are found most often on maple trees, but they have also been found before on many other kinds of trees including, but not limited to: wild cherry, alder, birch, box elder, plum, apple, dogwood, and willow. The adult moths do not have mouthparts and so do not feed; they survive from their body fat stored up during the caterpillar stage.
- Cecropia Silkmoth (Butterflies and Moths of North America Project) (includes many excellent photos)
- Caterpillars in Your Yard and Garden: Cecropia Moth (University of Missouri Extension)
- Photo: Cecropia Moth Cocoon (BugGuide.net)