Callosamia promethea

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Promethea Silkmoth
Female
Male
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Superfamily: Bombycoidea
Family: Saturniidae
Subfamily: Saturniinae
Tribe: Attacini
Genus: Callosamia
Species: C. promethea
Binomial name
Callosamia promethea
Drury, 1773

The Promethea Moth (Callosamia promethea) is a species of moth. It belongs in the family Saturniidae. It is also known as the Promethea Silkmoth or the Spicebush Silkmoth.[1]

Description[change | edit source]

The male has dark brownish-black wings. There is a faint white line that runs down the center of both wings. There is pinkish coloring near the tip of the fore wing (the top wing). The female is bright reddish-pink or a brownish color. Both genders have tan colored wing edges. The wingspan measures 7.5-9.5 cm.[1]

Range[change | edit source]

The Promethea Moth is found in the eastern half of the United States. It is also found in the lower parts of eastern Canada.[1]

Life cycle[change | edit source]

Mating happens from afternoon to early evening. Egg-laying begins at night. Females are attracted to lights, but males are not.[1] Females lay 2-12 eggs in a cluster on the host plant (the host plant is the plant that the caterpillar eats). The yound caterpillars feed together on the underside of leaves. They are greenish yellow and striped with black. The older caterpillars do not feed together. They are almost all green except for 4 red knobs above the thorax and 1 yellow knob on the eighth abdominal segment. The caterpillar makes a cocoon within a leaf. The cocoon is firmly attached to the lower branches of the host plant.[2] The Promethea Moth has 1 brood in the northern part of its range (which flies from June-July). It has 2 or more broods in the southern part of its range (which fly from March-May and again from July-August).[1]

Host plants[change | edit source]

Here is a list of host plants that the caterpillars feed on:

References[change | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Charles V. Covell, Jr. 2005. Moths of Eastern North America. Virginia Museum of Natural History, Martinsville, Virginia. ISBN 1-884549-21-7
  2. 2.0 2.1 David L. Wagner 2005. Caterpillars of Eastern North America. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. ISBN 0-691-12143-5