Attacidae

Attacidae

 

(also Saturniidae), a family of moths. The moths are usually large, having a wingspread reaching 25 cm (for example, in Attacus atlas). The body is rather small and covered with hair. The antennae of the male are pectinate. The highly developed olfactory sense enables the male to locate the female by smell at a range of several kilometers. The head is underdeveloped, since the moths do not eat and usually live no more than ten days. There is a large spot in the shape of an eye on each wing. The larvae are large and usually green, have numerous tubercles and spines on the skin, and feed on the leaves of trees and shrubs.

There are about 1,000 species in the family Attacidae, distributed primarily in tropical regions of the eastern hemisphere. Approximately 20 species are encountered in the USSR. Some species are cultivated for silk (for example, the oak silkworms). The damage caused by the moths to gardens and forests is usually minor.

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