First I have to say that I am not talking about a mounted specimen wingspan. I am talking about 7 inch wingspan for a live moth in a natural position, which of course would be the maximum wingspan. To achieve a 7 inch wingspan in a correctly mounted cecropia, well it would have to be more than 8 inches in a relaxed position. I think it is likely that trehopr1 is talking about a mounted specimen measurement, which would make 7 inches likely impossible.
The largest cecropia female I have seen was one I reared that fell just under 7 inches (live moth in relaxed position). I did find a photo from June 2018 of a wild male that came to my backyard via a calling female, which measured between 6 3/4 and 6 7/8 inches as in the photo attached.
Yes, I was indeed referring to a "mounted specimen measurement" in a full flight posture. VERY few reach or ever exceed 6 (1/2) in.
The White Witch (Thysania agrippina) has also been occasionally measured in the same manner as your photograph -- thus achieving wing expanses of 14 in. However, a properly set specimen (in full flight) will only come-in at the 10 in.(+) OR 11 in.(+) range.
*On that particular species the largest known extant example is in a private collection in Ontario Canada. It was measured by (Guinness book of world records) many years ago at 308 mm. on a (female) collected in 1934.
I have a photograph of a cecropia that measures in excess of 8 inches (next to a ruler) in a relaxed, natural position like in mothman's picture. It might well measure at least 7 inches in a mounted position, but I don't think it was ever mounted. I asked about buying the specimen, but was told it was strictly for breeding purposes. Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of the person who owned the specimen. I'm unable to post the picture myself but will email it to someone else who can post it here.
Yes I have seen that Thysania agrippina you mention, it was in the John Powers collection and he had the Guiness record certificate in the display case. John used to display portions of his collection in malls all around Southern Ontario, I met him a few times. Unfortunately he passed a couple of years ago.
I would love to see the photo of the 8+ inch cecropia, that is truly a monster. Can't imagine anyone beating that one.
I would love to see a picture of that record Thysania which John Powers owned. Any chance you might have a picture of it mothman55 ?
Also, would you happen to know what became of that particular specimen with his passing ?
I did not take any pictures of the world record Thysania, and I would assume his family still has it. I know a young fellow that John fave a portion of his collection to, but the good stuff I was told stayed with the family. I remember he had a pair of O. Alexandra as well as a gynandromorph O. Poseidon. I made an inquiry if they would be sold but was told the family was keeping them.