Subject: Promethea Moth Buglove!
Location: Northeast Pennsylvania
May 31, 2013 11:49 pm
Here is a snapshot of some Promethea Moths lovin’ on my porch. The female had camped out the night earlier and in the morning I found her alone in the same position. By mid afternoon, a male had landed and immediately they began to mate. To my surprise, this evening I found that our female had laid eggs already! This is all very exciting for me, and I hope that you will find these photos to be exciting too.
Love your site, thanks for all things bug-related.
Signature: Julianna in PA
We do find your photos of mating Promethea Moths exciting. Like other Giant Silk Moths in the family Saturniidae, Promethea Moths do not feed as adults. The live as adults to mate and reproduce, so they cannot waste time. The female cannot waste her energy flying around in search of a mate, so she often waits in a good location, perhaps near a food source for the caterpillars that will hatch from the eggs she lays. She releases pheromones and attracts any males within the vicinity. The caterpillars will begin to search for food upon hatching, and hopefully there will be “apple, ash, basswood, birch, cherry, lilac, maple, sassafras, sipcebush, sweetgum, tulip-tree” or even “buttonbush, magnolia, and other trees” nearby, as that is the list of food plants on BugGuide.