Insect Wiki

Saturniinae redirects here.

Ascalpha odorata

Saturniidae, commonly 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, and giant silk moths.

Key Features[]

Adults are characterized by large, lobed wings, heavy bodies covered in hair-like scales, and 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 often have translucent eyespots or "windows" on their wings. Sexual dimorphism varies by species, but males can generally be distinguished by their larger, broader antennae. Most adults possess wingspans between 1-6 in (2.5–15 cm), but some tropical species such as the Atlas moth (Attacus atlas) may have wingspans up to 12 in (30 cm). Together with certain Noctuidae, Saturniidae contains the largest Lepidoptera and some of the largest insects alive today.

Opodiphthera eucalypti (Male)


Antheraea polyphemus, the Polyphemus moth, is a North American member of the family Saturniidae, the giant silk moths. It is a tan-colored moth, with an average wingspan of 15 cm (6 in). The most notable feature of the moth is its large, purplish eyespots on its two hindwings.

Life cycle[]

Chinese moon moth

The life cycle of Saturniids are quite similar to any other lepidopterans, upon hatching, they immediately start consuming the leaves of a specific species of plant and keep growing as they continue with their incredibly large metabolism, they eventually outgrow their own bodies and molt several times during their lifetime (In their juvenile instar) Until they have gained enough nutritious vitamins to mature, they will spin a warm cocoon where they spend the winter solstice (Usually December 21-22 to July 20-21) And during spring, the caterpillars inside of the cocoon will secrete an enzyme that is capable of melting down silk, once they've matured inside they're cocoons, they will secrete enough enzymes to allow them to create a hole big enough to emerge as an adult, then they're main purpose as an adult is to mate & reproduce, they need several nutrients as a larva as most adults either do not have mouthparts or their mouthparts malfunction in some way. After 10-15 the nutritious energy the adults absorbed as a juvenile gradually fades away as they perish.

Species (Available)[]