Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
|Polyphemus moth cocoon|
I wanted to hike to a different spot, and I went back to the car to regroup. It was too warm to leave it in the car, and too dangerous for the cocoon to drag it around in my shirt pocket, so I found a nearby tree and laid it on the ground nearby, out of sight. I came back a half-hour later and it had emerged!
Here he is, well-camouflaged near the base of the tree.
It's a big, fat, beautiful male Polyphemus moth! Those huge feathery antennae are a sure sign it's a male. Nothing better for catching a female's pheromones on the wind, they tell me.
And to that poor lady I've never seen before who was going to her car with her three yellow labs while I was taking 136 pictures of this, who I told to "Put your dogs in the car and come here! You have to see this!," who was very good-natured and did put her dogs in the car and come over to see it, and took pictures with her cellphone and everything, and seemed to really enjoy it and thanked me sincerely for showing her, I'd like to say, "Thank you for indulging me, a perfect stranger, and sharing my excitement."
*Edit: I met some people on a trail 2-3 years later and we chatted briefly about the woods and our hikes, and she said, "You look familiar--are you the moth woman I met at Gans Creek?"--and I was.
His antennae are fully 3/4" wide, each. Doesn't get much better than this.
Here is the post describing my finding the cocoon and everything.
It's a male Polyphemus moth, Antheraea polyphemus.
Here's some good ID book links
A Field Guide to the MOTHS of Eastern North America (Peterson Field Guides)
Butterflies of North America (Kaufman Field Guides)