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Project Silkmoth Paul Smith's College


Project Silkmoth is a volunteer-based survey documenting the presence of Giant Silkmoths (family Saturniidae) in northern New York State.  Sightings will be incorporated into a database and used to create occurrence maps for each species.  The database will be a source of information about silkmoth species that are thought to be declining in the northeastern U. S.

Dates and Participation

  • Active survey period: May 15 – July 30
  • Photos of any silkmoth are encouraged but will be required for certain species
  • Sightings forms from the active survey period will be accepted through October 1

Where to find these moths

Sightings forms

The Moth Map - see this year's sightings

Support the project

  • Project Brochure PDF
  • Project Flyer for posting
  • Make a donation - A credit card can be used to give a donation through the Paul Smith's College giving page. Simply enter the dollar amount you want to give, then under 'designation' click 'other' and type in 'Project Silkmoth'. Your contribution is tax deductible and will be used to cover the cost of brochures and maintenance of the website.

Contact Information

Moth field guides

The new "Peterson Field Guide to Moths" has photos of adults of all 12 species. More information about this book by D. Beadle and S. Leckie can be found here.

Photos of adults of all 12 species can be found in “Caterpillars of Eastern North America” by D. Wagner.

The “National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders” (Milne & Milne) has photos of all but the following 4 species; Columbia, Tuliptree and the two Oakworms.

The “Peterson Field Guide to Insects: America north of Mexico” (Borror & White) has color drawings of Polyphemus, Cecropia, Luna, Io and Regal moths.

Target geographic area
Sightings will be accepted from all of northern New York State.   On the map below, ‘northern New York’ would be considered anywhere north of a line from Oswego to Utica to Saratoga Springs.

Target species – Moth species generally expected to be widespread make up the top half of this list. Species with limited distributions or southerly distributions make up the bottom half of the list. Click on the common name for identification and life history information.

Where to look for the moths

Luna Moth
Actias luna

Cecropia Moth
Hyalophora cecropia

Polyphemus Moth
Antheraea polyphemus

Rosy Maple Moth
Dryocampa rubicunda

Imperial Moth
Eacles imperialis

Io Moth
Automeris io

Pink-striped Oakworm
Anisota virginiensis

Orange-striped Oakworm
Anisota senatoria

Columbia Moth
Hyalophora columbia

Promethea Moth
Callosamia promethea

Tuliptree Moth
Callosamia angulifera

Regal Moth
Citheronia regalis

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