Saturday, November 08, 2008

Giant Silkworm and Royal Moths of Berrien County, Michigan, and Vicinity

The giant silkworm and royal moths (Family Saturniidae) are among the largest and most brightly colored North American members of the Order Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths). Adults of some North American species attain wingspans of up to 140 mm (5.5 in).

Collectively, Sherman Moore’s (1955) Annotated List of the Moths of Michigan (.pdf) and Butterflies and Moths of North America (BaMoNA) list 10 species (representing 3 subfamilies and 9 genera) as having been confirmed in Berrien County plus the neighboring counties of Cass and Van Buren in Michigan and La Porte and St. Joseph in Indiana. Also, another 4 species (representing 2 additional genera) are likely to occur in the region based on their widespread distribution in Michigan and adjacent States (BoMaNA).

In total, then, 14 species representing 3 families and 11 genera have been cofirmed (or are likely to be found) in Berrien County and vicinity. These 14 species represent 82.4 percent of the 17 species documented from Michigan, 18.2 percent of the 77 species found in the U.S. and Canada, and 1.27 percent of the approximately1,100 species known worldwide.

In the following list, species documented from Berrien County are boldfaced, counties with confirmed records are listed in parentheses, and species whose presence is suspected based on their documented occurrence elsewhere in Michigan and surrounding States are in brackets (with indication of States where recorded). Species denoted with an asterisk (*) are from Sherman, those with a hat (^) are from BoMoNA. Scientific and common names follow All-Leps and the Bug Guide.
Subfamily Ceratocampinae (royal moths):
  • [Anisota stigma, Spiny Oakworm Moth^ (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI)]
  • [Anisota senatoria, Orange-tipped Oakworm Moth^ (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI)]
  • Anisota virginiensis, Pink-striped Oakworm Moth*^ (Berrien, Cass)
  • [Citheronia regalis, Regal Moth^ (IL, IN, MI, OH)]
  • Dryocampa (=Anisota) rubicunda, Rosy Maple Moth^ (Berrien, Cass, La Porte, Van Buren)
  • Eacles imperialis, Imperial Moth*^ (Berrien, Cass, La Porte, Van Buren)
  • Syssphinx bicolor, Honey Locust Moth^ (Berrien)

    Subfamily Hemileucinae (buck and io moths):
  • Automeris io, Io Moth*^ (Berrien, Cass, La Porte, Van Buren)
  • [Hemileuca maia, Buckmoth^ (IN, MI, OH)]
  • [Hemileuca nevadensis, Nevada Buckmoth^ (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI)]

    Subfamily Saturniinae (silkmoths):
  • Actias luna, Luna Moth*^ (Berrien, La Porte, Van Buren)
  • Antheraea polyphemus, Polyphemus Moth*^ (Berrien, La Porte, Van Buren)
  • Callosamia angulifera, Tulip-tree Silkmoth*^ (Berrien, Cass, Van Buren)
  • Callosamia promethea, Promethea Moth*^ (Berrien, Cass, La Porte, St. Joseph, Van Buren)
  • Hyalophora cecropia, Cecropia Moth^ (Berrien, La Porte, St. Joseph, Van Buren)
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