Fun Cecropia Moth Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Cecropia Moth Facts For Kids

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The cecropia moth is a beautiful creature that can be found in North America. These moths are quite large with huge wingspans! They have a brown to yellowish-white coloring, which helps them camouflage themselves when they're resting on tree trunks or leaves during daytime hours. The female cecropia moth also emits pheromones at night as an attraction signal in order to find potential mates. Both male and female cecropia moths also release silk into the air to help attract potential mates from afar just like spiders do by releasing strands of webbing!

This moth was once common throughout much of the South American rocky mountains region, but its population has declined significantly over recent decades due largely to habitat destruction from urbanization. The cecropia moth caterpillar feeds on maple trees such as sugar maples, black cherry varieties, or wild cherries and the fascinating moth creature emerges in the warmer months of May and June. It often lands on windows as it is attracted to the light from homes or other sources nearby. Cecropia moths are most active at night because they prefer cooler temperatures. Like most insects, their body temperature will rise quickly if exposed to warm air for long periods (or as soon as you turn on your lightbulb!). When threatened or handled by humans, the cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia) will release a strong chemical that smells like bananas with an added musky smell. Males also have bright yellow underparts on their wings that give off reddish scented molecules from glands near their abdomen. These are called male abdominal brush organs.

The cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia) is a type of moth that looks like it would be right at home in the wild. These moths, found commonly throughout North America and parts of South America, can grow up to 5-7 in (13-18 cm) long! This moth (Hyalophora cecropia) also has an extremely interesting life cycle too. It enters a cecropia moth cocoon stage after being caterpillars in the summer months. The caterpillars pupate into beautiful cocoons for wintertime hibernation, before emerging back out to start another generation when spring arrives again.

For more relatable content, check out these puss moth facts and peppered moth facts for kids.

Fun Cecropia Moth Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Leaves, grass, and tree barks

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

0.1 lb (20-40 g)

How long are they?

5-7 in (13-18 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Dark brown and dark reddish-green

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Raccoons, Birds, Squirrels

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Trees, Rocky Mountains, And Shrubs


North America









Cecropia Moth Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a cecropia moth?

Cecropia butterflies are one of the largest types of moths belonging to the family Saturniidae.

What class of animal does a cecropia moth belong to?

The cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia) belongs to the class Insecta, just like many other insects including the northern paper wasp!

How many cecropia moths are there in the world?

It is almost impossible to answer this question. No one has ever been able to count them all, so the current population of these moths is unknown.

Where does a cecropia moth live?

The cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia) inhabits a variety of forest types but prefers moist areas with dense vegetation including streamsides, wet meadows, or swampy woods. This allows for better camouflage from predators such as birds.

What is a cecropia moth's habitat?

The cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia) is a large, green, and dark brown moth with an intimidating wingspan. The species lives in North America and prefers to inhabit coniferous forests among the trees where it can easily find caterpillars. This moth catches caterpillars to feed on by laying its eggs near its nests or in hiding places then leaving them to lure in unsuspecting prey!

Who do cecropia moths live with?

Cecropia butterflies (Hyalophora cecropia) are known to live with a diverse group of other insects, and they can also be found living in bird nests. These moths have been observed being eaten by various predators including hoary bats and birds!

How long does a cecropia moth live?

Living for up to nine months, cecropia moths (Hyalophora cecropia) are some of the longest-lived moths in North America. These moths go through four different life stages: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa, and adult.

How do they reproduce?

When cecropia butterflies (Hyalophora cecropia) mate, the female covers her eggs with a protective layer of silk. The male then fertilizes the eggs and dies shortly after. Females lay about 100 eggs in batches before dying themselves around three weeks later. Some females can live up to six months longer as they are not mating continuously during that time period.

What is their conservation status?

The cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia) has the IUCN conservation status of Least Concern.

Cecropia Moth Fun Facts

What do cecropia moths look like?

This moth (Hyalophora cecropia) is a beautiful but harmless dark brown moth that has unique life cycle stages. It looks different when it is in its larvae (immature) form, compared to its adulthood stage, when it has narrow, pointed wings with silk-like scales and elongated antennae. Its cocoon is crescent-shaped and brown or green in color. It is a type of giant silk moth that has bright green wings and adult male cecropia silk moths have particularly long wings that can reach up to 4.5 in (11 cm) in wingspan!

Cecropia Moth on a tree Bark

How cute are they?

The adult cecropia moth is an attractive silk moth species that looks mesmerizing and cute.

How do they communicate?

Hyalophora cecropia moths have evolved an ultra-high pitch call for their mating rituals. This signal operates on a different wavelength to those that humans are able to detect and hear.

How big is a cecropia moth?

Hyalophora cecropia butterflies are some of the most impressive moths in North America. These giant, white-colored insects can range from 5-7 in (13-18 cm) long, making them an incredible sight on any night walk!

How fast can cecropia moths fly?

These moths are among the fastest flyers in the insect world, capable of reaching speeds up to 30 mph (40-45 kph).

How much does a cecropia moth weigh?

They can weigh up to 0.1 lb (20-40 g) which is more than many other species, including the American dagger moth!

What are their male and female names of the species?

Males and females are simply referred to as adult moth cecropia butterflies! There is no specific name for a male or a female cecropia moth.

What would you call a baby cecropia moth?

This depends on what stage of its lifecycle is the moth in! First, these insects begin in their larvae form, then they go by the name caterpillars with a yellow body, and later they become a cocoon!

What do they eat?

These moths are known for their ability to eat anything! Cecropias have a high metabolism, so they have an enormous appetite. They consume leaves, grasses, and bark all day long in order to keep them alive. However, unfortunately, more often than not they end up becoming part of a meal themselves to any hawks nearby!

Are they dangerous?

No, they are not dangerous, they mostly mind their own business without bothering us humans!

Would they make a good pet?

These lovely butterflies may seem like a good pet but they are best left to live in the wild.

Did you know...

In order to care for their eggs, you will need a container that can be sealed with some air holes. You should also spray the outside of this container with insecticide and keep it in an area where there is no direct sunlight or strong winds.

As caterpillars, insects of this species are often mistaken for centipedes due to their resemblance.

These insects are not poisonous and do not possess any kind of venom!

Cecropia moth eggs

When females lay eggs, they typically will not hatch for about 10 days. These moth larvae stay with their mother until the end of their lifecycle, until they turn into a caterpillar.

Cecropia moth caterpillars

Caterpillars are quite a mystery to many. Who knew they could start out as small, fat larvae? These caterpillars go through all sorts of changes during their larval stages; from long and thin pupae to short, plump adults!

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods from our queen butterfly facts and Gulf fritillary butterfly facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring one on our free printable cecropia moth coloring pages.

Written By
Kidadl Team

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