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Oxyteninae Cercophaninae Arsenurinae Ceratocampinae Hemileucinae Agliinae Ludiinae (disputed) Salassinae Saturniinae

Saturniidae, commonly known as saturniids, is a family of Lepidoptera with an estimated 2,300 described species.[1] 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. Adults are characterized by large, lobed wings, heavy bodies covered in hair-like scales, and reduced mouthparts. They lack a frenulum, but the hind wings overlap the forewings to produce the effect of an unbroken wing surface.[2] Saturniids are sometimes brightly colored and often have translucent eyespots or "windows" on their wings. Sexual dimorphism
Sexual dimorphism
varies by species, but males can generally be distinguished by their larger, broader antennae. Most adults possess wing spans between 1-6 in (2.5–15 cm), but some tropical species such as the Atlas moth (Attacus atlas) may have wing spans up to 12 in (30 cm). Together with certain Noctuidae, Saturniidae
Saturniidae
contains the largest Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera
and some of the largest insects alive today.

Contents

1 Distribution 2 Lifecycle

2.1 Eggs 2.2 Larvae 2.3 Pupae 2.4 Adults

3 Importance to humans 4 Systematics and evolution 5 See also 6 References 7 Further reading 8 External links

Distribution[edit]

Marbled emperor moth (Heniocha dyops) in Botswana

The majority of saturniid species occur in wooded tropical or subtropical regions, with the greatest diversity in the New World tropics and Mexico,[2] 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, and 68 described species live in North America, 42 of which reside north of Mexico
Mexico
and Southern California. Lifecycle[edit]

Life stages of giant emperor moth (Saturnia pyri)

Some saturniids are strictly 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; autumn broods enter a state known as diapause and emerge the following spring. How the pupae know when to hatch early or hibernate is not yet fully understood, though research suggests day length during the larval fifth instar plays a major role, as well as cooling temperatures. Longer days may prompt pupae to develop early, while shorter days result in pupal diapause. The number of broods is flexible, and 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.[2] In some species – e.g. the luna moth (Actias luna) or Callosamia securifera (both Saturniinae) –, spring and summer broods look different, with different genes activated by environmental conditions.[2] Eggs[edit]

Clutch of emperor gum moth (Opodiphthera eucalypti) eggs

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.[3] They are round, slightly flattened, smooth and translucent or whitish. Larvae[edit]

Citheronia
Citheronia
laocoon fifth-instar caterpillar in Brazil

Saturniid caterpillars are large (50 to 100 mm in the final instar), stout, and cylindrical. Most have tubercules that are often also spiny or hairy. Many are cryptic in coloration, with countershading or disruptive coloration to reduce detection, but some are more colourful. Some have urticating bristles.[3] A few species have been noted to produce clicking sounds with the larval mandibles when disturbed (e.g. Saturniini like Actias luna
Actias luna
and the polyphemus moth, Antheraea
Antheraea
polyphemus). The clicks may serve as aposematic warning signals to a regurgitation defense.[4] Most are solitary feeders, but some are gregarious. The Hemileucinae are gregarious when young and have stinging hairs,[2] those of Lonomia containing a poison which may kill a human. A. armida is another well-known example, and are infamous for their large conspicuous masses during the day. Their coloration is not cryptic, instead exhibiting aposematism. The other caterpillars in this size range are almost universally Sphingidae, which are seldom hairy and tend to have diagonal stripes on their sides. Many Sphingidae
Sphingidae
caterpillars bear a single curved horn on their hind end. These are actually not dangerous, but large-haired caterpillars should generally not be touched except by experts. Most saturniid larvae feed on the foliage of trees and shrubs. A few, particularly Hemileucinae
Hemileucinae
such as Automeris
Automeris
louisiana, A. patagonensis, and Hemileuca
Hemileuca
oliviae, feed on grasses. They moult at regular intervals, usually four to six times before entering the pupal stage. Prior to pupation, a wandering stage occurs, and the caterpillar may change colour, becoming more cryptic just before this stage.[2]

Luna Moth (Actias luna, Saturniinae) pupa (right) removed from cocoon (left, note last larval skin)

Pupae[edit] 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 (Bombyx mori) among the Lepidoptera, the cocoons of most larger saturniids can be gathered and used to make silk fabric. However, larvae of some species – typically Ceratocampinae, like the regal moth ( Citheronia
Citheronia
regalis) and the imperial moth ( Eacles
Eacles
imperialis), burrow and pupate in a small chamber beneath the soil. This is common in the Ceratocampinae and Hemileucinae. Unlike most silk moths, those that pupate underground do not use much silk in the construction.[2] Once enclosed in the cocoon, the caterpillar sheds the larval skin and becomes a pupa, and the pupa undergoes metamorphosis for about 14,[clarification needed] at which point it either emerges or goes into diapause. During metamorphosis, respiratory systems will stay intact, the digestive system will dissolve, and reproductive organs will take form. Adults[edit] Adult females emerge with a complete set of mature ova and "call" males by emitting pheromones (specific "calling" times vary by species). 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 female and mate with her; females generally will not fly until after they have mated. 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 almost entirely to reproduction, but the end result (due to lack of feeding) is a lifespan of a week or less once emerged from the pupa[citation needed]. One specific species in the family Saturniidae
Saturniidae
with a special mating pattern is Callosamia promethea, the promethea slikmoth.[5] The females still use pheromones to attract males during their "calling time" in the evening.[6][7] What sets C. promethea apart is that it is the only moth in the family where the females are nocturnal and the males and diurnal.[5] Importance to humans[edit]

Typical example of Saturniidae
Saturniidae
camouflage, Eacles imperialis
Eacles imperialis
(the imperial moth), next to a nearly identical yellow poplar (Liriodendron tulipfera) leaf.

A few species are important defoliator pests, including the orange-striped oakworm moth ( Anisota
Anisota
senatoria) on oaks, the Pandora pinemoth ( Coloradia pandora) on pines and Hemileuca
Hemileuca
oliviae on range grasses. Other species are of major commercial importance in tussah and wild silk production. These notably include the Chinese tussah moth ( Antheraea
Antheraea
pernyi), its hybridogenic descendant Antheraea
Antheraea
× proylei, and the Ailanthus silkmoth
Ailanthus silkmoth
(Samia cynthia). In 2015, Adarsh Gupta K of Nagaraju's research team at Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Hyderabad, India discovered the complete sequence and the protein structure of Muga Silk
Silk
Fibroin and published it in Nature (journal) Scientific Reports [8] Many species of Saturniidae
Saturniidae
are a valuable food source for man in sub-Saharan Africa, examples being the Mopane worm (Gonimbrasia belina), Gonimbrasia zambesina, the cabbage tree emperor moth (Bunaea alcinoe), Gynanisa maia, Imbrasia epimethea, Imbrasia oyemensis, Melanocera menippe, Microgone cana, Urota sinope and the pallid emperor moth (Cirina forda).[9][10][11][12] Caterpillars of the genus Lonomia
Lonomia
produce a deadly toxin injected into the victim when it is touched.[13] Most Saturniidae
Saturniidae
are harmless animals at least as adults, and in many cases at all stages of their lives. Thus, some of the more spectacular species – in particular Antheraea
Antheraea
– can be raised by children or school classes as educational pets. The soft, silken cocoons make an interesting keepsake for pupils. Systematics and evolution[edit] In terms of absolute numbers of species, the Saturniidae
Saturniidae
are most diverse in the Neotropics. Also, their most ancient subfamilies occur only in the Americas. Only the very "modern" Saturniidae
Saturniidae
are widely distributed across most parts of the world. Thus, it is quite safe to assume – even in the absence of a comprehensive fossil record – that the first Saturniidae
Saturniidae
originated in the neotropical region. Note that at least two of the subfamilies included below are commonly treated as separate families ( Oxyteninae
Oxyteninae
and Cercophaninae). The following list arranges the subfamilies in the presumed phylogenetic sequence, from the most ancient to the most advanced one. Some notable genera and species are also included.

Subfamily Oxyteninae
Oxyteninae
(three genera, 35 species)

Oxytenis

Subfamily Cercophaninae
Cercophaninae
(four genera, 10 species) Subfamily Arsenurinae
Arsenurinae
(10 genera, 60 species, Neotropics)

Paradaemonia
Paradaemonia
Bouvier, 1925

Anisota stigma
Anisota stigma
(Ceratocampinae)

Male Citheronia splendens
Citheronia splendens
(Ceratocampinae)

Automeris metzli
Automeris metzli
(Hemileucinae)

Female tau emperor ( Aglia
Aglia
tau, Agliinae)

Subfamily Ceratocampinae
Ceratocampinae
(27 genera, 170 species, Americas)

Adeloneivaia Anisota

Anisota senatoria
Anisota senatoria
– orange-striped oakworm moth

Citheronia

Citheronia
Citheronia
azteca Citheronia
Citheronia
lobesis Citheronia regalis
Citheronia regalis
– regal moth Citheronia
Citheronia
sepulcralis – pine-devil moth

Dryocampa

Dryocampa
Dryocampa
rubicunda – rosy maple moth

Eacles

Eacles imperialis
Eacles imperialis
– imperial moth

Syssphinx

Subfamily Hemileucinae
Hemileucinae
(51 genera, 630 species, Americas)

Automeris

Automeris
Automeris
io – Io moth

Coloradia Hemileuca

Hemileuca
Hemileuca
nevadensis – Nevada buck moth Hemileuca
Hemileuca
maia – buck moth

Lonomia Ormiscodes

Subfamily Agliinae
Agliinae
(one genus, three species)

Aglia

Aglia tau
Aglia tau
– tau emperor

Subfamily Ludiinae (disputed) (eight genera, Africa) Subfamily Salassinae
Salassinae
(one genus, 12 species, tropics)

Salassa

Subfamily Saturniinae
Saturniinae
(59 genera, 480 species, tropical and temperate regions worldwide)

Giant peacock moth on Arum
Arum
by Vincent van gogh, 1889. A painting with S. pyri, a saturniid moth, as motif.

See also[edit]

Carthaea saturnioides, the sole member of the family Carthaeidae, a close relative to the Saturniidae

References[edit]

^ van Nieukerken; et al. (2011). "Order Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera
Linnaeus, 1758. In: Zhang, Z.-Q. (Ed.) Animal
Animal
biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification and survey of taxonomic richness" (PDF). Zootaxa. 3148: 212–221.  ^ a b c d e f g Tuskes et al. (1996) ^ a b Scoble (1995) ^ Brown et al. (2007) ^ a b Morton, Eugene S. "The Function of Multiple Mating by Female Promethea Moths, Callosamia promethea
Callosamia promethea
(Drury) (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae)". The American Midland Naturalist: 7–18.  ^ Gilbert., Waldbauer, (1996). Insects
Insects
through the seasons. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. ISBN 067445488X. OCLC 32893542.  ^ J. Richard and Joan E. Heitzman (1987). Butterflies and Moths
Moths
of Missouri. Conservation Commission of the State of Missouri.  ^ Adarsh Gupta. K. "Molecular architecture of silk fibroin of Indian golden silkmoth, Antheraea
Antheraea
assama".  ^ "Edible insects: future prospects for food and feed security" - van Huis et al. (2013) ^ "Food Insects
Insects
Newsletter" ^ "Food Insects" ^ " Insects
Insects
as food in Sub-Saharan Africa" - A. van Huis ^ More Media Coverage. "Caterpillar-induced bleeding syndrome in a returning traveller". Cmaj.ca. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 

Brown, S.G.; Boettner, G.H.; Yack, J.E. (2007). "Clicking caterpillars: acoustic aposematism in Antheraea polyphemus
Antheraea polyphemus
and other Bombycoidea" (PDF). J. Exp. Biol. 210 (6): 993–1005. doi:10.1242/jeb.001990.  Scoble, M.J. (1995): The Lepidoptera: Form, Function and Diversity (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. Tuskes, P.M.; Tuttle, J.P. & Collins, M.M. (1996): The wild silk moths of North America. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-3130-1 Latham, P. (2008) Les chenilles comestibles et leurs plantes nourricières dans la province du Bas-Congo. PDF fulltext Latham, P. (2015) Edible caterpillars and their food plants in Bas-Congo province, Democratic Republic of Congo. PDF fulltext

Further reading[edit]

Burnie, David (2001). Smithsonian: Animal
Animal
(1st American ed.). DK Publishing Inc., 375 Hudson St. New York, NY 10014. Mitchell, Robert T. (2002). Butterflies and Moths: A Golden Guide From St. Martin's Press. St. Martin's Press, New York. Racheli, L. & Racheli, T. (2006): The Saturniidae
Saturniidae
Fauna of Napo Province, Ecuador: An Overview (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae). SHILAP Revista de Lepidopterología 34(134): 125-139. PDF fulltext (inventory of about 200 Saturniidae
Saturniidae
taxa) Lampe, Rudolf E. J. (2010) Saturniidae
Saturniidae
of the World – Pfauenspinner der WeltTheir Life Stages from the Eggs to the Adults -Ihre Entwicklungsstadien vom Ei zum Falter [English and German] ISBN 978-3-89937-084-3

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saturniidae.

Family Saturniidae
Saturniidae
(Wild Silk
Silk
Moths) Bombycoidea
Bombycoidea
of Canada Family Classification of Lepidoptera University of Kentucky Entomology: Saturniid Moths Moths
Moths
(Saturniidae) of the United States How to rear saturniid moths Saturniidae
Saturniidae
of Europe Saturnia-Homepage Saturniidae-web.de Images of Saturniidae
Saturniidae
species of New Zealand Photos tagged with "saturniidae" at Flickr

v t e

Extant Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera
families

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Insecta Subclass: Pterygota Infraclass: Neoptera Superorder: Endopterygota

Suborder Zeugloptera

Micropterigoidea

Micropterigidae
Micropterigidae
(mandibulate archaic moths)

Suborder Aglossata

Agathiphagoidea

Agathiphagidae (kauri moths)

Suborder Heterobathmiina

Heterobathmioidea

Heterobathmiidae

Suborder Glossata

Dacnonypha

Eriocranioidea

Eriocraniidae

Acanthoctesia

Acanthopteroctetoidea

Acanthopteroctetidae (archaic sun moths)

Lophocoronina

Lophocoronoidea

Lophocoronidae

Neopseustina

Neopseustoidea

Neopseustidae (archaic bell moths)

Exoporia

Hepialoidea

Anomosetidae Hepialidae
Hepialidae
(swift moths, ghost moths) Neotheoridae (Amazonian primitive ghost moths) Palaeosetidae (miniature ghost moths) Prototheoridae (African primitive ghost moths)

Mnesarchaeoidea

Mnesarchaeidae (New Zealand primitive moths)

H e t e r o n e u r a

M o n o t r y s i a

Incurvarioidea

Adelidae
Adelidae
(fairy longhorn moths) Cecidosidae Crinopterygidae Heliozelidae Incurvariidae Prodoxidae
Prodoxidae
(yucca moths)

Andesianoidea

Andesianidae (Andean endemic moths)

Nepticuloidea

Nepticulidae
Nepticulidae
(pigmy, or midget moths) Opostegidae
Opostegidae
(white eyecap moths)

Palaephatoidea

Palaephatidae (Gondwanaland moths)

Tischerioidea

Tischeriidae (trumpet leaf miner moths)

D i t r y s i a

Simaethistoidea

Simaethistidae

Tineoidea

Acrolophidae
Acrolophidae
(burrowing webworm moths) Arrhenophanidae Eriocottidae (Old World spiny-winged moths) Lypusidae Psychidae (bagworm moths) Tineidae
Tineidae
(fungus moths)

Gracillarioidea

Bucculatricidae
Bucculatricidae
(ribbed cocoon makers) Douglasiidae (Douglas moths) Gracillariidae Roeslerstammiidae

Yponomeutoidea

Acrolepiidae
Acrolepiidae
(false diamondback moths) Bedelliidae Glyphipterigidae
Glyphipterigidae
(sedge moths) Heliodinidae Lyonetiidae Plutellidae Yponomeutidae (ermine moths) Ypsolophidae

Gelechioidea

Autostichidae Batrachedridae Blastobasidae Coleophoridae
Coleophoridae
(case-bearers, case moths) Cosmopterigidae
Cosmopterigidae
(cosmet moths) Elachistidae
Elachistidae
(grass-miner moths) Gelechiidae
Gelechiidae
(twirler moths) Lecithoceridae
Lecithoceridae
(long-horned moths) Metachandidae Momphidae
Momphidae
(mompha moths) Oecophoridae
Oecophoridae
(concealer moths) Pterolonchidae Scythrididae
Scythrididae
(flower moths) Xyloryctidae
Xyloryctidae
(timber moths)

Galacticoidea

Galacticidae

Zygaenoidea

Heterogynidae Zygaenidae
Zygaenidae
(burnet, forester, or smoky moths) Himantopteridae Lacturidae Somabrachyidae Megalopygidae (flannel moths) Aididae Anomoeotidae Cyclotornidae Epipyropidae
Epipyropidae
(planthopper parasite moths) Dalceridae
Dalceridae
(slug caterpillars) Limacodidae
Limacodidae
(slug, or cup moths)

Cossoidea

Cossidae
Cossidae
(carpenter millers, or goat moths) Dudgeoneidae (dudgeon carpenter moths)

Sesioidea

Brachodidae (little bear moths) Castniidae
Castniidae
(castniid moths: giant butterfly-moths, sun moths) Sesiidae
Sesiidae
(clearwing moths)

Choreutoidea

Choreutidae
Choreutidae
(metalmark moths)

Tortricoidea

Tortricidae
Tortricidae
(tortrix moths)

Urodoidea

Urodidae
Urodidae
(false burnet moths)

Schreckensteinioidea

Schreckensteiniidae
Schreckensteiniidae
(bristle-legged moths)

Epermenioidea

Epermeniidae
Epermeniidae
(fringe-tufted moths)

Alucitoidea

Alucitidae (many-plumed moths) Tineodidae (false plume moths)

Pterophoroidea

Pterophoridae
Pterophoridae
(plume moths)

Whalleyanoidea

Whalleyanidae

Immoidea

Immidae

Copromorphoidea

Copromorphidae (tropical fruitworm moths) Carposinidae
Carposinidae
(fruitworm moths)

Hyblaeoidea

Hyblaeidae
Hyblaeidae
(teak moths)

Pyraloidea

Pyralidae
Pyralidae
(snout moths) Crambidae
Crambidae
(grass moth)

Thyridoidea

Thyrididae
Thyrididae
(picture-winged leaf moths)

Mimallonoidea

Mimallonidae (sack bearer moths)

Lasiocampoidea

Lasiocampidae
Lasiocampidae
(eggars, snout moths, or lappet moths)

Bombycoidea

Anthelidae
Anthelidae
(Australian lappet moth) Bombycidae
Bombycidae
(silk moths) Brahmaeidae
Brahmaeidae
(Brahmin moths) Carthaeidae (Dryandra moth) Endromidae
Endromidae
(Kentish glory and relatives) Eupterotidae Lemoniidae Saturniidae
Saturniidae
(saturniids) Sphingidae
Sphingidae
(hawk moths, sphinx moths and hornworms) Phiditiidae

Noctuoidea

Doidae Erebidae
Erebidae
(underwing, tiger, tussock, litter, snout, owlet moths) Euteliidae Noctuidae
Noctuidae
(daggers, sallows, owlet moths, quakers, cutworms, darts) Nolidae
Nolidae
(tuft moths) Notodontidae
Notodontidae
(prominents, kittens) Oenosandridae

Drepanoidea

Epicopeiidae
Epicopeiidae
(oriental swallowtail moths) Drepanidae
Drepanidae
(hook-tips)

Geometroidea

Sematuridae Uraniidae Geometridae (geometer moths)

Cimelioidea

Cimeliidae (gold moths)

Calliduloidea

Callidulidae
Callidulidae
(Old World butterfly-moths)

Superfamily unassigned

Millieriidae

Rhopalocera (butterflies)

Hedyloidea

Hedylidae
Hedylidae
(American moth-butterflies)

Hesperioidea

Hesperiidae (skippers)

Papilionoidea (true butterflies)

Lycaenidae
Lycaenidae
(gossamer-winged butterflies: blues, coppers and relatives) Nymphalidae
Nymphalidae
(brush-footed, or four-footed butterflies) Papilionidae (swallowtail butterflies) Pieridae
Pieridae
(whites, yellows, orangetips, sulphurs) Riodinidae
Riodinidae
(metalmarks)

Note: division Monotrysia
Monotrysia
is not a clade.

Taxonomy of the Lepidoptera Lists by region

Taxon identifiers

Wd: Q843104 BAMONA: Saturniidae BugGuide: 184 EoL: 896 EPPO: 1SATUF Fauna Europaea: 6791 Fossilworks: 245035 GBIF: 8864 ITIS: 117551 NCBI:

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