Driftless Prairies: Native Habitat Restoration

Nature inspires awe!

Saturniidae (Giant Silkworm and Royal Moths)

Many of these species do not feed as adults. It’s fairly easy to tell males from females because the males have wider antennae. This modification is because males do most of the searching for food.

Their name comes from the abundance of silk the use in the cocoons. The cocoons are tough and papery and often woven with leaves in them. They are attached to twigs, tree trunks, shrubs, or the lower branches of a tree. Sadly, they are not as common as they were in the 1900s.

Moths in the Saturniidae family are the largest of the US moths, some reaching a wingspan up to 5 inches. Adults are rarely seen as they only fly at night and rarely come to lights, which makes their appearance very special.