Heather Johnson
Promethea Silkmoth

Lake Fort Smith State Park in western Arkansas offers a variety of habitats for many different wild creatures. The forest here is a perfect home for the extraordinarily large promethea silkmoth, Callosamia promethea.

At nearly four inches, the adults’ wings exhibit extraordinary camouflage to avoid predators. Interestingly, the female typically exhibits a russet-red coloration on her enormous wings, whereas the males exhibit a darker, blackish coloration. As adults, there is only one thing at the forefront of these moths’ attention: making more moths.

Since these moths are so well camouflaged, they have a unique method to effectively locate one another in the forest besides using their vision. Their search for a mate is totally dependent on pheromones released into the air by the females. This pheromone attraction is similar to a sweet perfume drifting on to the potential mate. When a male promethea moth picks up this arousing pheromone with his ever so sensitive antenna, he seeks the female out and the circle of life continues.

Next time you visit an Arkansas State Park, be sure to slow down and explore the many wonders of nature all around you. These opportunities occur because native plant and animal habitats are protected!

Video Description: A female promethea silkmoth (Callosamia promethea) slowly stretches her massive, russet-red colored wings.