Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
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View PDFSaturniidae Members: 1 NC Records

Samia cynthia (Drury, 1773) - Ailanthus Silkmoth

Superfamily: Bombycoidea Family: SaturniidaeSubfamily: SaturniinaeTribe: AttaciniP3 Number: 890074.00 MONA Number: 7759.00
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA                                                                                 
Distribution in North Carolina
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

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Habitats and Life History
Larval Host Plants:
See also Habitat Account for Exotic Invaded Habitats
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GU [SNA]
State Protection:
Comments: A larva found in Guilford County in July 2017 by David Campbell appears to be the first state record for this species in North Carolina. Although a spectacular and interesting species, it is not native to North America -- both the moth and its host plant, Tree-of-Heaven -- were introduced in the 1860s in hopes of establishing a silk industry. While Ailanthus thrived in its new environment, the moth appears to be barely hanging on, with colonies currently known from only a small number of areas, mainly in the Northeast where it was first introduced.

 Photo Gallery for Samia cynthia - Ailanthus Silkmoth

Photos: 1

Recorded by: David Campbell on 2017-07-26
Guilford Co.
Comment: Larva found in a dense thicket of Ailanthus saplings growing along an abandoned railroad