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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Moth Memories

Today I was sorting through some older pictures to find some special ones for Thursday (and there's the clue for today). I came across these photos of two different moth species taken in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1997.

I've recently signed up as a member at this site about butterflies. It's not a professionally designed site, but one built by folks who love beautiful insects. If you go to the site I'm not sure how much you can see without a membership. It only costs $20 for a lifetime. They will set up a page for you with all the spottings in your home county (US or Canada only, I think). There are also some moths and beetles. So whenever I find pictures I know they would like for their database, and still know where and when I took them, I pass them along. I'll share them with you on the way.

The first two photos are the Cecropia Moth. You can see how big it is! They can be 6 inches across. The larvae (caterpillars) are green and bumpy with four red tubercles on their heads. Their favorite food is silver maple. So now I can say that I learned something new.

This next picture was taken the same summer, also in Ann Arbor, but is a saddleback caterpillar. The caterpillars are much more memorable than the moths which are two-toned brown and small. Don't touch these caterpillars, as the spines will cause a painful irritation. There is nothing for scale in the picture, but they are about 1 inch long. They eat apple, cherry, oak, asters, blueberry, rose and corn.

You might find either of these in the Eastern United States or Canada.


rainfield61 said...

There may be danger behind any beautiful thing, caterpillar is for this case.

Sharkbytes said...

Many of the ones with bristles can be irritating, but not all! I'm sure you know which things to not touch in your part of the world!

Rick (Ratty) said...

I love looking at pictures of moths and butterflies. They have so many wonderful details. I chased them throughout last summer, but all I got were a few very blurry pictures. Your top picture makes the moth look so full and substantial.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Well, these moths are pretty substantial! I was amazed that I found one so compliant with having it's picture taken. I was wondering if it had recently emerged from the cocoon and was still drying.