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Promethea Moth (Callosamia promethea)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Promethea Moth



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With a wingspan that covers an entire hand, the gentle, gigantic Promethea Moth is a stunning example of Giant Silk Moths.



Updated: 04/06/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The generous size of the Promethea Moth is the first feature that attracts attention, but the details on its broad wings encourage more interest. It has bold eyespots at the edge of the forewings. Dark brown color on the inner wings near the center of the moth is separated from light brown edges by a thin white line. Females are brown and lighter than males are, who are almost black in color. This species is very similar in appearance to its relative, the Tulip-Tree Silkmoth. In fact, the resemblance is so close, pictures alone may not be reliable for an accurate identification.

The caterpillar of the Promethea Moth has a pale green fleshy body with two nubby red protrusions rimmed in black at the head, and a single yellow one at the rear. They feed on a variety of different types of plants, but generally return to the same kind year after year in smaller populations.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Hairy insect icon
Patterned insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Saturniidae
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          Genus: Callosamia
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            Species: promethea
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Callosamia promethea
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 75mm to 95mm (2.95" to 3.74")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, white, blue, black, yellow
Descriptors: large, big, hairy, furry, flying, eyespot
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 75mm (3.0in) and 95mm (3.7in)
Lo: 75mm
Md: 85mm
Hi: 95mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
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State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
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State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Promethea Moth may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Promethea Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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