Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria,Lythraceae) arrived in North America nearly 200 years ago. In 1969 we first found larvae of the native Cecropia (Hyalophora cecropia) and Polyphemus (Antheraea polyphemus) moths (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) on loosestrife in the Hudson River Valley, New York, and we have since found Io (Automeris io) on this plant. A census of 4th and 5th instar saturniids in four 0.25 ha plots in purple loosestrife-gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa) wet meadows near Saugerties in 1984 indicated that Polyphemus and Cecropia larvae occurred much more frequently on loosestrife than on dogwood, a native host. The switch from native woody hosts to an introduced herb may have been facilitated by the dense shrub- like habit, high productivity, and high tannin content of loosestrife.
Barbour, James G. and Kiviat, Erik
"Introduced Purple Loosestrife as Host of Native Saturniidae (Lepidoptera),"
The Great Lakes Entomologist: Vol. 30
, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholar.valpo.edu/tgle/vol30/iss2/8