Agapema is a genus of butterflies of the family of peacock moth ( Saturniidae ). The Global Lepidoptera Names Index of the Natural History Museum lists four species in this genus. The genus is closely related to the Peacock Eye ( Saturnia ), but this clearly delineated. The moths of the two species look very similar, the preimaginal stages and the way of life, however, differ significantly.


The medium-sized moths have black, gray, brown and white wings. On both pairs of wings clear white Medial Post and Ante Medial napkins, and a significant diskaler eyespot are formed. Both males and females have twice pinnate sensor, said the males have longer Fiederborsten. The adults see which of the closely related genus Saturnia similar, but the preimaginal stages of the two species differ greatly.

The body of the caterpillar is dense with hair-like bristles ( setae ) occupied that are similar at first glance to those of hens ( Lasiocampidae ). Do not have the stinging hairs, which are formed in the genus Saturnia. In addition, the caterpillars have a long straighter lower body than that of the genus Saturnia. The cocoon in which pupation takes place, is lighter in color and less dense than in Saturnia.

Occurrence and life

The genus Agapema has its spread from the arid southwestern United States south to central Mexico.

All species of the genus are nocturnal, which they also differ from the genus Saturnia, whose types are either diurnal or crepuscular. As far as known to eat the caterpillars of all species of buckthorn family ( Rhamnaceae ), where each type is specialized to a particular plant species. According to the current state of research occurs annually on a generation.

Taxonomy and systematics

The genus Agapema is closely related to the genus Saturnia, but can be clearly distinguished from this. Within the genus, the number of species and subspecies of different authors is considered, so that the specified Artanzahl fluctuates. The Global Lepidoptera Names Index of the Natural History Museum lists the following species of the genus:

  • Agapema Galbina ( Clemens, 1860)
  • Agapema solita Ferguson, 1972
  • Agapema homogena Dyar, 1908
  • Agapema platensis Peigler & Kendall, 1993