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Hyalophora cecropia moth eggs
Hyalophora cecropia or better known as the Cecropia Moth is North America's largest moth with a wingspan of over 5 inchs. It has a very large range from the east coast to the Rocky Mountains and north to Canada. Cecropia moth caterpillars can be found on Maple, Birch, Wild Cherry and even some Willow.
The life cycle of Hyalophora cecropia moth is very much like any other saturniidae (silk moth) species. It lays oval-shaped, light tan and brown eggs on the leaves of the host plant. When the eggs hatch, small black and hairy caterpillars emerge (first instar), and eat their eggshells. They will go through five instars before spinning a cocoon. Cecropia will grow to five inchs long, that's very large for a caterpillar. They normally spin many fibers of silk onto a host plant to form a cocoon. They then pupate inside the cocoon. There is only one brood (generation) per year, the cocoon overwintering and emerging in spring. When the adults hatch, they have to pump fluid into their wings to extend them. Once thier wings are fully formed, they are ready to fly and mate.