Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pretty Moth

I found this moth in the lawn while out mowing yesterday evening. No, I did not mow over it! (Please, credit me with having some compassion!) I carefully moved it out of harm's way. Then when I had finished mowing, I went back to check on it. It was still there so I took a few pictures.

I got the bright idea to put a yardstick next to it so you could see the size of the wingspan. That is one giant moth.

I checked a little bit ago and the moth is gone now. Perhaps it revived itself and flew away, or maybe a bird ate it this morning.

I think it is a type of sphynx moth, but don't know much more than that about it. Update 07/26/2006 - Thanks to Annie in Austin for sending a comment... this is most likely a male Giant Imperial Moth. Here's a site that help you identify insects: What's That Bug and here's a site to see the caterpiller that turns into this lovely moth.

I enjoyed seeing it and wish now that if it had truly died, that I would have saved it to show my niece and nephews who love bugs and spiders. Once at a family birthday party, someone commented about the big spider on the steps by the front door, and those three went running out to take a look at it. They nearly trambled one another to get to it. A lot of kids would have recoiled at the thought of a spider, and probably hours later would have refused to leave by those steps. I don't know how my sister and brother-in-law are doing it, but they are raising three kids who aren't afraid of bugs (or spiders, though they do tend to run when they see a giant wolf spider, but who wouldn't? Don't click that spider link if you don't like to see pictures of spiders!! You have been warned!)


Annie in Austin said...

Carol, I don't think it's a sphinx moth - the body sort of hangs out at the bottom of them, so they look like a bird. I think it's one of the silkworm group, a male Giant Imperial Moth. Look at the photo for July 23, 2005 on What's That Bug - what do you think?


Annie in Austin said...

Addition to the first note posted on your photo page - there's a photo of two Giant Imperial Moths mating on the homepage for What's That Bug?, but the link to the Saturnid moths shows the wings better.

Carol said...

Annie, I think you are right. I checked the same site you checked, but must have been in a different section. I am going to update the posting! Thank you!

Sandra said...

As you know, I am not a "bug lover". but that moth is really beautiful. Looks like a tapestry. The only other one I have seen that could compare is the luna moth which I saw in Brown Cxounty. You would like it. It is a beautiful shade of GREEN.

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George Africa said...

Friday, 1-19-2007

Hi Carol,

While enjoying your blog I came across your picture of an Imperial Moth. I never saw one before and hadn't even heard the name until maybe 6 years ago. I saw a hosta by that name at the New England Hosta Society annual meeting. It was being auctioned off and brought a fine price, so fine that it didn't go home with me.

The "What's That Bug" site is a winner with me for which you have my thanks. Kind of by accident but the first pages I opened had Pelecinus polyturator pictured. I have been trying to figure this insect out all summer. I also found a picture of the short winged blister beetle. I can never remember the name but always do remember to look at that beetle with eyes, not hands.

Gardening wishes,

George Africa

Garden Lily said...

Kudos to your sister, I am trying to do the same with my kids. We generally kill only mosquitos and slugs. The kids love to play with worms and pill bugs ("rolly pollies"), and we catch all sorts of stuff (like this awesome june beetle), to study & release.

Phrixy said...

Looks like The Silence of the Lambs e.e