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Caterpillars of Eastern Forests

Silkworms and Royal Moths (Family Saturniidae)


The silkworm and royal moth family includes many of the largest eastern forest insects. The caterpillars are frequently brought into classrooms and nature centers. They possess long setae, horns, armored knobs, and in 1 subfamily (Hemileucinae) stinging spines. The anal plate is frequently spinulose or heavily armored; the side of the anal proleg often bears a hardened triangular plate. There are often numerous short setae above the prolegs. The crochets of 2 lengths are arranged in a linear series that runs parallel to the body axis. Pest species are often gregarious in early instars. Like hornworms, the large frass pellets of late instars often reveal the caterpillar's whereabouts. Silkworms are so named because they spin generous cocoons of silk, although of lower quality than those of the related Chinese silkworm (Bombyx mori), grown commercially for silk.


Caterpillar Thumbnail
Polyphemus Moth
(Antheraea polyphemus)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Luna Moth
(Actias luna)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Promethea Moth
(Callosamia promethea)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Sweetbay Silkmoth
(Callosamia securifera)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Cecropia Moth
(Hyalophora cecropia)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Imperial Moth
(Eacles imperialis)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Hickery Horned Devil
(Citheronia regalis)
[Regal or Royal Walnut Moth]
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Green-striped Mapleworm
(Dryocampa rubicunda)
[Rosy Maple Moth]
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Orange-striped Oakworm
(Anisota senatoria)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Spiny Oakworm
(Anisota stigma)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Pink-striped Oakworm
(Anisota virginiensis)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
New England Buck Moth
(Hemileuca lucina)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Buck Moth
(Hemileuca maia)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Io Moth
(Automeris io)

Previous Section -- Hornworms (Family Sphingidae)
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Next Section -- Tent Caterpillars (Family Lasiocampidae)

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