Santa Clarita and Northern Los Angeles County Area
Butterfly and Moth Site

Walter's Silk Moth [Saturnia walterorum] Adult Insect Images

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This pair of adults came from captive stock, originating from the San Gabriel Mts. just north of Los Angeles. Oddly, most of this 2005 brood did not eclose in spring, 2006 (probably due to improper exposure to natural conditions), and eclosed in late fall, 2006 instead.

These images were shot 5-5-2006. The female shown at left was a captive-bred specimen, which was taken to a local mountain to call for wild males on 3-24-2006. She called-in 9+ males and on 3-27-2006 she was mated with one of them. After mating, ovipositing 143 eggs, she died of exhaustion and was mounted - in surprisingly good shape after all that!

Also shown: A pair of walterorum - note the size difference, and an assortment of males collected on 3-24-2005 are displayed to show variation in color and pattern.

This was my first net-caught wild specimen, obtained in Acton, CA on March 24 1985. At the time I was't sure what it was - it looked like a painted lady but it flew differently. It appeared to be hilltopping on a local peak and after numerous attempts I finally managed to net it. Oddly, there is little if any host growing there.

Here are some shots of one of the very fresh males which came to the scenting female on 3-24-2006...

These show a mating pair (captive female, wild male) on 3-27-2006...

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