From 2002 - 2007 volunteers of all kinds searched fields and fens, mountains and meadows, even their own backyards, to document the status of Giant Silkmoths.

Before this survey, there was no atlas of their distribution, no assessment of their status, and no conservation concept for them on a statewide scale. With this in mind, we initiated a six-year study to document the distribution and abundance of these iconic moths in Vermont during the Vermont Butterfly Survey. This work continues today.

Luna Moth attracted to a black light and white sheet.

Luna Moth attracted to a black light and white sheet.

Giant Silkmoths (subfamily Saturniinae) as their common name suggests, are very large  and beautiful moths with adult wingspans reaching nearly six inches. Caterpillars feed on a wide range of native and ornamental trees and shrubs. Caterpillars pupate in a well-built silken cocoon. There are four species known from Vermont.

This effort helped to build a community of moth watchers across the state that have continued to document their occurrences using iNaturalist Vermont. Whether you observe them in your garden, a nearby meadow, or the top of a mountain, we hope you’ll add your Giant Silkmoth sightings.