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Promethea caterpillars are large, approximately 0.5 inches in diameter. They develop to a length of about 2 inches by late summer/early fall. They have two short red pegs on the second and third body segments and a single yellow peg on the next to last body segment. Full grown caterpillars spin a cocoon within a rolled leaf and change to the pupal stage. The petiole of the rolled leaf, covered with a layer of silk, forms a strap by which the cocoon hangs from a twig. These dangling cocoons are easily found on the bare trees in winter. Mature moths emerge from the cocoons and lay their eggs in June.
Tulip trees seem to be a favorite host plant but they will also feed on ash, azalea, bayberry, barberry, birch, buttonbush, cherry, lilac, plum, poplar, sassafras, spice bush and sweet gum.