Saturday, May 22, 2010

Moth visitor

This morning Zeke, my basset hound was outside bellowing (which usually means he has found a critter!)  Fortunately my handsome hound is a chicken with a capital "C".  So I go outside to see what he had found, expecting a snake; he is very afraid of snakes.  He was looking at the ground and backed up when I came out as if it was really scary.  I looked and looked and could not find anything.  Then my gaze moved up and landed on this which made me back up as well............

Some research online revealed this is a Cecropia silk moth and he had just emerged from his cocoon.  His wings were constantly in motion so the pics are a little blurry.  I took him over to my deck to take a picture to show you just how large he is.  He is perched on a pine cone here, I was very careful not to touch him, I did not want to hurt his wings, plus I must admit he is quite intimidating.  I set a quarter next to him so you can see the size of him.  They can get up to 7.5 inches across. 

Here is a pic of his body, he is without a doubt the most beautiful thing I have seen.  Sadly he will only live about 7 days during which time his sole purpose is to mate.  The adults have no mouth so they cannot eat.  How sad is that?  I read that they are rarely seen during the day, they are nocturnal so I feel blessed to have seen this amazing creature.  He was originally hanging on a blade of grass but after investigating him, I returned him to the cocoon in the first picture. Oh, and yes, he is a male, you can tell by his fuzzy antenna.  I checked on him a bit later and he had flown away.

9 comments:

Granbeads said...

That is one beautiful moth, Sandy. How lucky were you to see it and be able to photograph it for all of us to enjoy! Thanks so much for the biology lesson!

♥ Lydia ♥ said...

A gorgeous card Sandy, and a stunningly beautiful moth!
Daisy's class teacher breeds a similar silk moth every year for the children to study the different stages. I was amazed last year to see the size of them!!! As you say their bodies are just beautiful...but so big! It's truly mesmerising watching them breath in and out, but strangely eerie too!!
Thanks for sharing x

Hippieaud (aka Audrey) said...

WOW Sandy, this is AMAZING! Your coloring on the butterfly is INCREDIBLE!

Anonymous said...

Boy, how lucky you were to find such a beautiful creature. Thank heaven Zeke is afraid of things and alerted you to his find. And the card is beautiful also. Edna

Robin Kirkpatrick said...

Wow, what an awesome find! Great job photographing it! Beautiful card, too!

Squirrelly Girl said...

WOW! How beautiful! So sad to think it only lives for 7 days and is not able to eat. Nature...is very interesting. Love the card!

Bonnie Brown said...

The card is beautiful! Love the colors mimicking the real moth. His story is so bittersweet!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh Sandy, how lucky are you, and to get pictures, and figure out who this guy is and all about him! Thanks, that was exciting! He is beautiful!!! Love, Love, Love! Amy P.

SweetMissDaisy (Anna Wight) said...

Oh WOW!!! That's AMAZING!!!!! And how cool you got photos, too!!! Thanks so much for sharing this amazing creature!