Tree of heaven - moth

Pierre A Plauzoles ae779 at
Wed Nov 1 03:03:47 EST 1995

In a previous article, cdonahey at (Cynthia Donahey) says:

>I understand there is a rather colorful moth that feeds off the leaves of
>alianthus or tree of heaven and that it was introduced in Philadelphia in
>the mid 1800's and to other cities along the East coast. Does anyone know
>the name of this moth and something of its (I assume scattered) range here
>in the U.S. From the picture I recall (it was in a new moth & butterfly
>reference book - now misplaced), it (the moth) was rather colorful

You are probably thinking of the ailanthus silkmoth (Samia cynthis).  
Although there are others, this one is the one most often referred to in 
this context (as far as I know).  Charles V Covell (U of Louisville) 
wrote the field guide to the eastern US moths in the Peterson series.  He 
is probably the best person to ask which other species would be likely to 
fit your description, although many lepidopterists would be able to give 
you information that is just as accurate.

Pierre Plauzoles   ae779 at
Canoga Park, California

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