Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fascinating moth

I was coming back from picking up the kids from band camp and dropping them off at the library yesterday and got out of my car and looked at the bushes growing there and saw these wings - The moth was folded up. I used a piece of paper and got it to open its wings and this is what I saw. The body is very heavy and it was clinging to this very small branch on this bush thing growing next to my parking spot. I came inside hoping Hailie had left her camera so I could take some pictures. She had not. So when she called me to come get her, I got her camera and she shot these two pictures for me. This is really quite a large moth and unusual in that it looks like peacock fathers on the wings with the "eyes" like that. I wonder if that is a warning for predators of the moth. Maybe Rena may know what kind of moth it is - she's good about nature things - I'll have to ask her - lol.

If anyone knows what kind of moth this is, please feel free to comment and let me know - E :)

PS - I did a bit of research and found this info:
Polyphemus Moth - Antheraea polyphemus
Order: Lepidoptera / Superfamily: Bombycoidea / Family: Saturniidae - Giant silkmoths / Subfamily: Saturniinae / Tribe: Saturniini

It seems the moth is laying (and that would explain the large body of the thing, which I didn't picture but I will if the moth is still there today). I will try to get more pictures of the moth next to my car as I can. Who knows maybe I'll even be able to get the whole life stage of the moth from larva to adult - E :)


Rena said...

I was going to post what I thought it was and then I scrolled down and see that you found it. This is the link I found --

This is a huge site and I don't know why I clicked on silk moths first because I know very little about moths. If I were to take a wild guess, I'd say it was the Antheraea polyphemus too -- :)

elysabeth said...

It is a huge site. I looked there originally but since I didn't have any clue where to look, I went to another site and found it. The one I snapped a picture of must have been a small one compared to some of the others listed (wing spans of 3-15/16" to 5-7/8". This looked to be on the lower side of maybe a 4 inch wing span but it was pretty awesome to see it -

Thanks for stopping by and checking it out - E :)

Rain-drop said...

Wow! That is a cool - looking moth! It does look kindof like a peacock.

Nicely taken pictures. :) Thanks to Hailie! Good eye, Elysabeth.

elysabeth said...

Thanks Chai. I thought it was pretty cool. I went back out yesterday hoping it would still be there and I could catch a picture of it with its wings closed so that you all could see the body on that thing - had to be as thick as my finger. Anyway - you never know when something interesting falls into your lap - see you all in the postings - E :)

Mr. Hughes said...

That is a really neat moth. What a fun experience. It looks beautiful. Keep on entertaining us.

Mr. Hughes said...

Come on LADY! May was your last posting! :) Let's hear some updates. :)

elysabeth said...

Ha, updates? The way my life is? - I'm doing good to get my book stuff updated but you are right - I do need to update but there hasn't been much on this side of my life this summer. The kids will be home next weekend and then the fun starts with band camp and then school shortly after that so updates will follow then - E :)