Cecropia moth caterpillar

Hyalophora cecropia moth

Common Name: Cecropia moth, Robin moth

Scientific Name: Hyalophora cecropia

Season: One generation a year in New England, with adults flying late May into June, and caterpillars from June into the fall.

Food: Many different woody plants in the Northeast: alder, ash, basswood, birch, cherry, dogwood, elm, hawthorn, maple, oak, poplar, wax myrtle, and willow.

Ecology: One of the largest moths in the US, with a very large caterpillar to boot. Unfortunately, this species of moth is in decline, due to a parasitic fly that was initially released to handle gypsy moths, as well as loss of native host plants. Although caterpillars appear to have spikes on their body, they do not sting. Caterpillars will move to the base of host plants and form silken bag cocoons, where they will overwinter.

Doug Tallamy Photo