SATURNIIDAE of Australia
Emperor Moths
BOMBYCOIDEA
 
    
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

SATURNIIDAE

eggs
  
SATURNIIDAE

caterpillars
  
SATURNIIDAE

cocoons
  
SATURNIIDAE

moths
  
SATURNIIDAE

undersides

This family is presumably named either after the Roman God Saturn, or else the planet of the same name. Naming the family after the planet makes sense as many species of the adult moths have eye-like markings on the wings, surrounded by concentric rings, like the planet.

The Caterpillars of SATURNIIDAE are generally large, spectacular, and brightly coloured, with soft bristles and sparse tufts of hair over the body. They feed openly in daytime on their foodplants.

The Australian species pupate in hard cocoons, sometimes for more than a year.

The adults are large and dramatic, many having eyespots on the wings. They fly at night.

The 20 named Australian species in SATURNIIDAE are:

Attacus wardi

Coscinocera hercules : Hercules Moth

Neodiphthera sulphurea

Opodiphthera astrophela : Emperor Moth
Opodiphthera carnea
Opodiphthera engaea
Opodiphthera eucalypti : Emperor Gum Moth
Opodiphthera excavus
Opodiphthera fervida
Opodiphthera helena : Helena Gum Moth
Opodiphthera loranthi : Mistletoe Emperor Moth
Opodiphthera rhythmica

  • Opodiphthera saccopoea

    Samia cynthia : Cynthia Moth

    Syntherata escarlata
    Syntherata janetta

  • Syntherata leonae
    Syntherata melvilla
  • Syntherata mirata
  • Syntherata pseudescarlata

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    (updated 4 November 2014, 25 February 2017)