Blog

Polyphemus Moth caterpillars – week 2

The Polyphemus caterpillars have been ‘eating machines’! In two weeks they’ve doubled in size.

Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar at two weeks

Do I dare call them ‘cute’? How about all the red ‘knobs and spikes’? Click the image below for a closer look at their fringed feet (or classy ‘shoes’)! Continue reading “Polyphemus Moth caterpillars – week 2”

Hurray for Moths and National Moth Week!

I haven’t blogged for a while, but I’ve been having fun discovering and learning about moths. I added a moth chart (still in process) to my website with some of the moths I’ve seen, many of them in our backyard.

This week, July 23-31, is National Moth Week, and seems like a fitting time to share my latest moth adventure.

I raised my first Polyphemus moth in 2010, and I recently raised three more. I placed one of the females in a mating cage, hoping she would have a visitor. Indeed she did, and this is a photo of them mating. 

Polyphemus moths mating

Continue reading “Hurray for Moths and National Moth Week!”

Beautiful Imperial Moth emerges

I had fun raising an Imperial Moth (Eacles imperialis) caterpillar last summer. In September, it stopped eating and disappeared into a large pot of dirt at the back of our house. I’ve been watching it all summer, and was thrilled recently to discover this newly emerged moth.

Imperial Moth (male)

The contrasting brown and yellow markings indicate this is a male. Females appear more yellow, with lighter brown markings. The black object in front of the moth is the hollow pupal case from which it emerged.

I find the whole process amazing. A caterpillar emerged from a tiny egg, ate pine needles and grew to 4 inches. One day it quit eating, went underground, and pupated for the winter. Eleven moths later, it emerged as a beautiful moth. What a story!

Exciting backyard visitors

It was extra special last week to see a bright splash of blue in the backyard and to realize it was a male Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea). It’s a new member of our backyard bird list that we’ve kept since replanting the backyard with native plants in 2006. We’re now up to 66 different species.

Blue Grosbeak Continue reading “Exciting backyard visitors”