Cecropia Moth Facts
- The most noteworthy fact about the beautiful Cecropia Moth comes as no surprise. It ranks as the largest species of moth endemic to North America.
- This gorgeous insect displays a moderate degree of sexual dimorphism, much as many other Lepidoptera. However, this distinctive moth species display it in several ways.
- The female Cecropia Moth has a much larger and fuller body shape. The male, while possessing a smaller body, has much larger and bushier antennae.
- The male also has a very keen sense of smell. He can sense the pheromones of a female at a remarkable distance of up to 1 mi (1.6 km).
Cecropia Moth Physical Description
It is especially relevant that the dazzling Cecropia Moth remains the largest known species of moth native to North America.
Like many moths, the species displays sexual dimorphism. Females attain a wingspan of as much as 6 in (15 cm), while males average only a 4 in (10 cm) wingspan. Furthermore, the smaller bodied males possess large, feathery antennae.
These silk moths also display a dazzling pattern of colors, including red, brown, black, white, and orange. Surprisingly, the adults possess no functional mouthparts. Their adult stage serves the sole purpose of reproduction.
Species: H. cecropia
Cecropia Moth Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Along with being the largest moth in North America, the Cecropia Moth also holds the distinction of having the broadest range which extends from the Rocky Mountains in the United States, to northern Canada.
The larva of this species predominantly make their home on Maple trees, yet can also be found on birch and cherry trees.
In addition to their short lifespans, the adults possess nocturnal activity patterns, like many moths.
Males utilize their rather feathery antennae to track females via their pheromones. Males typically die shortly after mating, while the female lives until she lays her eggs.
The principal threat to this species continues to be the widespread use of commercial pesticides.