Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Cecropia Moth

My brother spotted this a few weeks ago near the front door,
a beautiful Cecropia Moth
(Hyalophora cecropia).

Isn't it just stunning? The Cecropia Moth is the largest moth in North America. I know they've been around my parents house for a while because when I was about 12 years old I found a caterpillar in a Maple Tree (which makes sense because that is their preferred food), but this is the first adult I have ever seen in the wild. This particular specimen might be a female because of it's not so plumose antennae and large and rounded abdomen but I have nothing but pictures to compare it to and it's not as EASY as Wikipedia might state.

(Click here to compare for yourself)
(For more information on their life cycle and biology click here.)


The caterpillar is just as spectacular, I wish I could see it again now that I know what it is.
At the time, I thought it was an alien species sent to take over the neighborhood. This belief was no doubt supported by my father's claim that is was surely toxic to the touch. (This has yet to be confirmed.) Needless to say, the game when on for days until it mysteriously disappeared from our alter without touching a single one of our grass bundle peace offerings.

Have you ever seen a Cecropia Moth?

Take care!

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