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The wingspan is 106–150 millimetres (4.2–5.9 in). Adults are on wing from July to August.
Females lay eggs in groups of 1-4 on sides of a plants leaves. The caterpillars look like bird droppings and spend majority of their life cycle on leaves, by feeding on them in the evening. When the caterpillars mature they start feeding on them during the day as well by eating leaf petioles or stems. They burrow themselves underground as soon as September comes, where they enter into their pupa stage. When pupa stage is done, the species turn into larva, during which time they spend feeding on Gossypium thurberi, Rhus trilobata, Arctostaphylos pungens and Rhus choriophylla.
- Citheronia splendens splendens (Jalisco, México, Guerrero and Chiapas)
- Citheronia splendens sinaloensis (central and northwestern Mexico, south-eastern Arizona)
- ?Citheronia splendens queretana (Mexico)