Saturniidae known as saturniids, is a family of Lepidoptera with an estimated 2,300 described species. The family contains some of the largest species of moths in the world. Notable members include the emperor moths, royal moths, giant silk moths. Adults are characterized by large, lobed wings, heavy bodies covered in hair-like scales, reduced mouthparts, they lack a frenulum, but the hindwings overlap the forewings to produce the effect of an unbroken wing surface. Saturniids are sometimes brightly colored and have translucent eyespots or "windows" on their wings. Sexual dimorphism varies by species, but males can be distinguished by their larger, broader antennae. Most adults possess wingspans between 1-6 in, but some tropical species such as the Atlas moth may have wingspans up to 12 in. Together with certain Noctuidae, Saturniidae contains the largest Lepidoptera and some of the largest insects alive today; the majority of saturniid species occur in wooded tropical or subtropical regions, with the greatest diversity in the New World tropics and Mexico, though they are found all over the world.
About 12 described species live in Europe, one of which, the emperor moth, occurs in the British Isles, 68 described species live in North America, 42 of which reside north of Mexico and Southern California. Some saturniids are univoltine, producing only one generation a year, whereas others are multivoltine, producing more than one brood a year. Spring and summer broods hatch in a matter of weeks. How the pupae know when to hatch early or hibernate is not yet understood, though research suggests day length during the fifth larval instar plays a major role, as well as cooling temperatures. Longer days may prompt pupae to develop early; the number of broods is flexible, a single female may produce both fast-developing and slow-developing individuals, or they may produce different numbers of broods in different years or parts of the range. In some species – e.g. the Luna moth or Callosamia securifera –, spring and summer broods look different, with different genes activated by environmental conditions.
Depending on the moth, a single female may lay up to 200 eggs on a chosen host plant. Others are laid singly or in small groups, they are round flattened and translucent or whitish. Saturniid caterpillars are large and cylindrical. Most have tubercules that are also spiny or hairy. Many are cryptic in coloration, with countershading or disruptive coloration to reduce detection, but some are more colorful; some have urticating hairs. A few species have been noted to produce clicking sounds with the larval mandibles. Examples: Luna moth and Polyphemus moth; the clicks may serve as aposematic warning signals to a regurgitation defense. Most are solitary feeders; the Hemileucinae are gregarious when young and have stinging hairs, those of Lonomia containing a poison which may kill a human. Arsenura armida is another well-known example, are infamous for their large conspicuous masses during the day, their coloration is not cryptic. The other caterpillars in this size range are universally Sphingidae, which are hairy and tend to have diagonal stripes on their sides.
Many Sphingidae caterpillars bear a single curved horn on their hind end. These are not dangerous, but large-haired caterpillars should not be touched except by experts. Most saturniid larvae feed on the foliage of shrubs. A few Hemileucinae such as Automeris louisiana, A. patagonensis, Hemileuca oliviae, feed on grasses. They moult at regular intervals four to six times before entering the pupal stage. Prior to pupation, a wandering stage occurs, the caterpillar may change color, becoming more cryptic just before this stage. Most larvae spin a silken cocoon in the leaves of a preferred host plant or in leaf litter on the ground, or crevices in rocks and logs. While only moderately close relatives to the silkworm among the Lepidoptera, the cocoons of most larger saturniids can be gathered and used to make silk fabric. However, larvae of some species – Ceratocampinae, like the regal moth and the imperial moth and pupate in a small chamber beneath the soil; this is common in the Hemileucinae. Unlike most silk moths, those that pupate underground do not use much silk in the construction.
Once enclosed in the cocoon, the caterpillar sheds the larval skin and becomes a pupa, the pupa undergoes metamorphosis for about 14 days, at which point it either emerges or goes into diapause. During metamorphosis, respiratory systems will stay intact, the digestive system will dissolve, reproductive organs will take form. Adult females emerge with a complete set of "call" males by emitting pheromones. Males can detect these chemical signals up to a mile away with help from sensitive receptors located on the tips of their feather-like antennae; the males fly several miles in one night to locate a mate with her. Since the mouthparts of adult saturniids are vestigial and digestive tracts are absent, adults subsist on stored lipids acquired during the larval stage; as such, adult behavior is devoted entirely to reproduction, but the end result is a lifespan of a week or less once emerged from the pupa. One specif
The miller is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is found throughout Europe apart from the far south-east; the range extends from the South of Spain, Central Italy and Bulgaria to Scotland and Central Scandinavia, crossing the Arctic circle in Finland and Norway. Outside Europe it is only known in North Africa. In the Eastern Palearctic and the Nearctic ecozone it is replaced by Acronicta vulpina known as Acronicta leporina subspecies vulpina; this is a variable but always distinctive species, the forewings ranging from white to dark grey with characteristic crescent-shaped black markings. The hindwings are white; the wingspan is 1.5-1.69 in. Adults of this species fly at night from June to August and will come to light and sugar but are not strongly attracted; the larva is green, covered in long yellow hairs. It feeds on a variety of trees feeding on bark and soft wood; this species overwinters as a pupa, sometimes spending two winters in this form. Acer - Norway maple Alnus - alder Betula - birch Corylus - hazel Fagus - beech Nicotiana - tobacco Populus - poplar Quercus - oak Salix - willow Sorbus - whitebeam and allies ^ The flight season refers to the British Isles.
This may vary in other parts of the range. Chinery, Michael Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe 1986 Skinner, Bernard Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles 1984 The Miller on UKmoths Beccaloni, G.. "Acronicta leporina". The Global Lepidoptera Names Index. Natural History Museum. Fauna Europaea Lepiforum.de
Bucculatrix thoracella is a moth of the family Bucculatricidae. It is found in most of Japan; the wingspan is 6–8 mm. Adults are sometimes again in August; the larvae feed on Acer campestre, Acer platanoides, Acer pseudoplatanus, Aesculus hippocastanum, Betula, Carpinus betulus, Fagus sylvatica, Tilia cordata, Tilia platyphyllos and Tilia tomentosa. They mine the leaves of their host plant; the mine consists of a small, full depth, hook-like corridor in a vein axil, with a proportionally large larval chamber. The remainder of the mine is entirely filled with frass; the larvae soon leave their start living free on the leaf. Fauna Europaea bladmineerders.nl UKmoths
Callosamia promethea known as the promethea silkmoth, is a member of the family Saturniidae, which contains 1,300 species. It is known as the spicebush silkmoth, which refers to is one of the promethea silkmoth's common host plants, spicebush. C. promethea is classified as a silk moth, which stems from its ability to produce silk, which it does in the formation of its cocoon. C. promethea lives in forests in the eastern U. S. and does not damage the trees. The species was first described by Dru Drury in 1773. C. promethea hatches from eggs and feeds on its host plants before pupating while hanging from trees during the winter. It emerges and mates during a specific time of day; the females utilize pheromones to attract males with both sexes mating multiple times. They are the only moth in their family where the sexes are not active at the same time of day, with males being diurnal and females being nocturnal, they only overlap in activity for a few hours in the early evening. The males use mimicry of the poisonous pipe vine swallowtail butterfly as a form of protection from predators.
The range of C. promethea extends the length of the east coast of the United States and west to the Great Plains. C. promethea is found in deciduous forests. C. promethea utilizes multiple plant families as their hosts, including Rosaceae and Lauraceae. There is no negative effect to C. promethea larvae being raised on a host plant different from the one that their parents were raised on, for the specific host plants tested in the study. The nutritional content of the individual host plant matters more to the health of the larvae than feeding on a population’s typical host plant; some examples of common host plants are the tulip tree and spicebush. C. promethea does not consume any food in its adult stage. Female promethea silkmoths lay their eggs on the leaves of the host plants of the caterpillars; the eggs are laid at night. A female's eggs are laid in groups of 4 to 10 at a time. Eggs are white and elliptical. Once the caterpillars hatch, they are solitary, they eat leaves from the edge inwards.
The caterpillars eat from several host plants. Caterpillars become blue green over time. Once they are blue green, they develop four red and one yellow protuberances; these caterpillars go through several instars or skin shedding, after the fifth shedding the caterpillar is ready to form a cocoon. When the caterpillars form cocoons, they are twice as long; some caterpillars in the family Saturniidae will pupate in the ground. However, promethea silkmoth caterpillars pupate in trees; the caterpillars attach themselves directly to the branches of trees with their silk. They curl a dead leaf around themselves. C. promethea pupates during the winter. The wingspan of this moth is 3 to 4 inches. Like most Lepidoptera, females are on average larger than males. Males are darkly pigmented; the males and females both have tan on the edges of their wings. The males have a set of eyespots on their forewings. In the northern part of the promethea silkmoth's range, there is one brood per year and it occurs during the early summer.
In the southern part of the moth’s range, there are two broods, with one occurring in the spring and the other occurring in late summer. The location of the C. promethea cocoon provides the pupae with sufficient protection from possible predators. The cocoons hang from thin branches and are difficult to open, so mice may have difficulty predating because the branches are too thin to hold their weight and woodpeckers could have trouble opening the pupa. Other predators of the cocoons include some wasps. C. promethea utilizes Batesian mimicry, in which an edible species mimics a toxic species as a form of protection from predators. Promethea silkmoth females are rust and cream colored, but the males have different coloration. Promethea silkmoth males mimic a poisonous butterfly; the topside of the wings of promethea silkmoth males is black, as are the wings of the pipe vine swallowtails, which have a shiny blue pattern on the top surface of their wings. The promethea silkmoth males do not have this reflective blue pattern, but their mimicry is still effective due to the fact that the blue reflective pattern is only visible on pipe vine swallowtails in a certain light, so the blue is not essential for C. promethea's mimicry to be effective.
The effectiveness of this mimicry was tested experimentally. Promethea silkmoth males were painted with various patterns released, the amount of each group, recaptured showed that mimicry helped the moths survive; the control group was painted to match their actual coloration. One experimental group was painted black and yellow to mimic the tiger swallowtail, not a poisonous butterfly and does not mimic the poisonous pipe vine swallowtail; the other experimental group was painted with orange stripes to mimic the poisonous monarch butterfly. The two groups that were painted to be mimetic to a poisonous butterfly both were recaptured more than the group painted to match an edible butterfly; this shows that mimicry the partial mimic of promethea silkmoth males to pipe vine swallowtails, is adequate protection against predation. Female promethea silkmoths release pheromones to attract males; the females remain in place, camouflaged, as they wait for the males to sense their pheromones and come to them.
Females release their pheromones at a specific time of day called the "calling t
The sycamore is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is distributed through most from central England south to Morocco. To the east it is found from the Near Middle East to West Asia; the forewings of this species are pale to dark grey with rather indistinct markings apart from a thin black basal streak. The hindwings are white, sometimes with dark streaks at the margin; the wingspan is 40–45 mm. The adults are attracted to light and sugar; the extraordinary larva is distinctive, thickly covered with long yellow and orange hairs with white spots outlined in black along the back. It feeds on various maples and on common horse-chestnut, large-leaved lime and pedunculate oak; the species overwinters as a pupa. Contrary to its bright colours, it is not poisonous, but may cause skin irritation if handled excessively. ^ The flight season refers to the British Isles. This may vary in other parts of the range. A. a. aceris - Europe A. a. taurica - Cyprus A. a. judaea - Levant Chinery, Michael Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe 1986 Skinner, Bernard Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles 1984 The sycamore on UKmoths Fauna Europaea Lepiforum.de
Acer is a genus of trees and shrubs known as maple. The genus is placed in the family Sapindaceae. There are 128 species, most of which are native to Asia, with a number appearing in Europe, northern Africa, North America. Only one species, Acer laurinum, extends to the Southern Hemisphere; the type species of the genus is the sycamore maple, Acer pseudoplatanus, the most common maple species in Europe. The maples have recognizable palmate leaves and distinctive winged fruits; the closest relatives of the maples are the horse chestnuts. Most maples are trees growing to a height of 10–45 m. Others are shrubs less than 10 meters tall with a number of small trunks originating at ground level. Most species are deciduous, many are renowned for their autumn leaf colour, but a few in southern Asia and the Mediterranean region are evergreen. Most are shade-tolerant when young and are riparian, understory, or pioneer species rather than climax overstory trees. There are a few exceptions such as sugar maple.
Many of the root systems are dense and fibrous, inhibiting the growth of other vegetation underneath them. A few species, notably Acer cappadocicum produce root sprouts, which can develop into clonal colonies. Maples are distinguished by opposite leaf arrangement; the leaves in most species are palmate veined and lobed, with 3 to 9 veins each leading to a lobe, one of, central or apical. A small number of species differ in having palmate compound, pinnate compound, pinnate veined or unlobed leaves. Several species, including Acer griseum, Acer mandshuricum, Acer maximowiczianum and Acer triflorum, have trifoliate leaves. One species, Acer negundo, has pinnately compound leaves that may be trifoliate or may have five, seven, or nine leaflets. A few, such as Acer laevigatum and Acer carpinifolium, have pinnately veined simple leaves. Maple species, such as Acer rubrum, may be dioecious or polygamodioecious; the flowers are regular and borne in racemes, corymbs, or umbels. They have four or five sepals, four or five petals about 1 – 6 mm long, four to ten stamens about 6 – 10 mm long, two pistils or a pistil with two styles.
The ovary is superior and has two carpels, whose wings elongate the flowers, making it easy to tell which flowers are female. Maples flower in late winter or early spring, in most species with or just after the appearance of the leaves, but in some before the trees leaf out. Maple flowers are green, orange or red. Though individually small, the effect of an entire tree in flower can be striking in several species; some maples are an early spring source of nectar for bees. The distinctive fruits are called samaras, "maple keys", "helicopters", "whirlybirds" or "polynoses"; these seeds occur in distinctive pairs each containing one seed enclosed in a "nutlet" attached to a flattened wing of fibrous, papery tissue. They are shaped to carry the seeds a considerable distance on the wind. People call them "helicopters" due to the way that they spin as they fall. During World War II, the US Army developed a special air drop supply carrier that could carry up to 65 pounds of supplies and was based on the Maple seed.
Seed maturation is in a few weeks to six months after flowering, with seed dispersal shortly after maturity. However, one tree can release hundreds of thousands of seeds at a time. Depending on the species, the seeds can be green to orange and big with thicker seed pods; the green seeds are released in pairs, sometimes with the stems still connected. The yellow seeds are released individually and always without the stems. Most species require stratification in order to germinate, some seeds can remain dormant in the soil for several years before germinating; the genus Acer together with genus Dipteronia are either classified in a family of their own, the Aceraceae, or else classified as members of the family Sapindaceae. Recent classifications, including the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group system, favour inclusion in Sapindaceae; when put in family Sapindaceae, genus Acer is put in subfamily Hippocastanoideae. The genus is subdivided by its morphology into a multitude of subsections. Fifty-four species of maples meet the International Union for Conservation of Nature criteria for being under threat of extinction in their native habitat.
The leaves are used as a food plant for the larvae of a number of the Lepidoptera order.. In high concentrations, like the greenstriped mapleworm, can feed on the leaves so much that they cause temporary defoliation of host maple trees. Aphids are very common sap-feeders on maples. In horticultural applications a dimethoate spray will solve this. In the United States and Canada, all maple species are threatened by the Asian long-horned beetle. Infestations have resulted in the destruction of thousands of maples and other tree species in Illinois, New Jersey and New York. Maples are affected by a number of fungal diseases. Several are susceptible to Verticillium wilt caused by Verticillium species, which can cause significant local mortality. Sooty bark disease, caused by Cryptostroma species, can kill trees that are under stress due to drought. Death of maples can be caused by Phytophthora root rot and Ganoderma root decay. Maple leaves in late summer and autumn are disfigured by "tar spot" caused by Rhytisma species and mildew caused by Uncinula species, though these diseases do not have an adverse effect on th