What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What kind of moth?
July 15, 2009
Hi again Bugman. I captured this moth with my camera this evening (7/15/2009). I believe it is of the giant silkworm variety but I cannot pin down the exact species. Could you tell me its correct name?
Chris Walker, Stroudsburg, PA
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Tulip-Tree Silkmoth we believe

Spicebush Silkmoth

Dear Chris,
Your moth is in the genus Callosamia.  We are undecided as to whether it is the Spicebush Silkmoth, Callosamia promethea, or the Tulip-Tree Silkmoth, Callosamia angulifera.  Both are well represented on BugGuide.  This specimen is a female.  If we were betting the 50/50 odds, we would be inclined to say this is the Tulip-Tree Silkmoth based on one particular posting to BugGuide.   An open winged view would be most helpful.  Perhaps one of our readers with more skills can properly identify this moth to the species level.

August 10, 2009
I’m a lepidopterist and I was flipping through your pages and found on July 17th, the image of a moth. You couldn’t decide between Callosamia Promethia or Angulifera. I would say it is a Promethia because the white marking is not quite as angular as it usually is with Anguliferas. Also, if you need any help with Butterfly or Moth IDs, I’d be happy to assist and give information.
Teddy Kesting-Handly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

2 Responses to Spicebush Silkmoth

  1. Jen ozbek says:

    We found one on our front step and brought it in. It didn’t try to fly away. Later that night it laid eggs on the walls of the container. Curious as to whether they die after giving birth! What will the larva need to eat??

    • bugman says:

      Adult Giant Silkmoths, including the Spicebush Silkmoth, die soon after mating. The caterpillars feed on “leaves of apple, ash, basswood, birch, cherry, lilac, maple, sassafras, sipcebush, sweetgum, tulip-tree (1); also recorded on buttonbush, magnolia, and other trees” according to BugGuide.

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