University of Kentucky Department of Entomology

Mystery Bug Answers

Mystery Picture #26

Mystery Picture #26

(Mystery Pictures)(Mystery Pictures)


With a wingspan of five to seven inches, the Cecropia Moth is the largest of the North American moths. They are usually seen in early summer as they lay their eggs and can be spotted at lighted windows at night. The caterpillars of this moth take most of the summer to mature. They are very colorful: bluish-green with a pair of yellow projections on each body segment. In the fall, the caterpillar becomes a pupa and spends the winter inside a spindle-shaped cocoon.

Cecropia moths belong to the family Saturniidae, the regal moths and the giant silk moths. EntFact 008 - Saturniid Moths has more information about several members of this family of beautiful and spectacular moths. Be sure to take a look at the caterpillars -- they are really wild-looking!


The Brown Recluse Spider is one of the most dangerous spiders in Kentucky. Its painful bite can be very serious, often resulting in a slow healing ulcer. Its venom is associated with tissue destruction and may require surgical treatment. This spider has only 6 eyes and constructs an irregular web that is used mainly as a retreat. One way to identify this spider is the violin-shaped brown mark on the thorax right behind the head. To read more about the brown recluse spider, take a look at these publications:

Get This Bug Off of Me!
EntFact 631 - Brown Recluse Spider
EntFact 623 - Eliminating Spiders Around Homes and Buildings

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