FAMILY SATURNIIDAE
View Image Gallery of Family Saturniidae

Samia Hubner

Type species : cynthia Drury.
The ocelli of Samia are lunulate rather than triangular windows as in Attacus; the fasciae are similar but the postmedial is generally straighter. There is a dark submarginal spot posteriorly on the forewing apical hook. In Archaeoattacus there is one anteriorly also, and in Attacus only the anterior one is present.

In the male genitalia the uncus is simply bifid, the valve is unequally bilobed, the ventral lobe a narrow spur; the saccus is small as in the other genera; the aedeagus vesica has a weak cornutus.

The life history of S. cynthia is described and the larva illustrated by Gardiner (1982: plate XVIII). The eggs are laid in piles. The larvae in early instars are yellow, changing to paler yellow and finally pale green. The tubercles are black in early instars but only the lower (subspiracular) tubercles retain this colour later on. The size of tubercles grades from the long dorsals through the upper laterals to the short lower laterals, all these being arranged in a ring on each segment that includes the spiracle. The body tapers over the thorax and at the caudal end.

The cocoons are suspended on long stalks from the substrate as in the previous two genera.

The host-plants recorded in Asia (Sevastopulo, 1940; Arora & Gupta, 1979; Yunus & Ho, 1980; Miyata, 1983; CIE records) are as follows: Rhus (Anacardiaceae); Plumeria (Apocynaceae); Ilex (Aquifoliaceae); Heteropanax (Araliaceae); Berberis (Berberidaceae); Canarium (Burseraceae); Carica (Caricaceae); Coriaria (Coriariaceae); Corylus (Corylaceae); Glochidion, Jatropha, Sapium (Euphorbiaceae) Juglans (Juglandaceae); Cassia (Leguminosae); Lagerstroemia, Lawsonia (Lythraceae); Althaea (Malvaceae); Azadirachta (Meliaceae); Psidium (Myrtaceae); Ligustrum (Oleaceae); Trachycarpus (Palmae); Rhamnella, Ziziphus (Rhamnaceae); Malus, Prunus, Pyrus (Rosaceae); Euodia, Fagaria, Phellodendron, Zanthoxylum (Rutaceae); Salix (Salicaceae); Ailanthus, Picrasma (Simaroubaceae); Euscaphis (Staphyleaceae); Apium (Umbelliferae); Clerodendrum (Verbenaceae); Xanthophyllum (Xanthophyllaceae).

The genus extends to the Philippines and the Moluccas. It is likely that these more easterly populations will represent distinct species.

<<Back >>Forward <<Return to Contents page


Copyright Southdene Sdn. Bhd. All rights reserved.