Bug Spotlight!

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U.C. Riverside
Department of Entomology
Photo by: Photos from Tuskes 
Tuttle, & Collins, 1996
"The Wild SilkMoths of North America" 
Saturnia albofasciata (Johnson) (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae)

Size: Male: forewing -1.9-22mm, orange/light brown with white medial line on forewing. Female: forewing -24-27mm, gray with discal spots and white medial line on forewing. Biology: Larvae of this moth hatch in April and begin feeding on their hostplants: buck brush (Ceanothus cuneatus), snowbush (Ceanothus cordulatus), and mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus betuloides). Cocoons are spun on the hostplant. Adults are usually active between October 20 and November 5 during the last warm days of the season in mountainous regions. Males fly in search of a mate in the afternoons and females actively oviposit in the early evening. Distribution: This moth inhabits the montane chaparral, usually above 3,500 feet from northern California to northern Baja California. It is most reliably found in the southern portion of its range. Collection: The males can be quite tricky to capture unless a calling female or pheromone lure is used as they are rapid fliers that weave among the scrubby vegetation of the chaparral community. Females are attracted to light in the early evening. Notes: In November 1998, a massive (>200 individuals) flight of males was attracted to a pheromone lure at Lake Hemet in the San Jacinto Mountains. Nine females were later collected at lights. Interestingly, more were attracted to headlights (6) than to the mercury vapor bulb.


2006  ERM-UC Riverside