16 July, 2010

More Moths & Butterflies

Ahhhh! They're attacking! Ha, ha, more maple moths.

Mike & I don't say "I love you" very often but he does the sweetest things, words are not necessary. He's been amused watching me w/ my moth fascination & is the cause behind our newest pet though he hate moths & caterpillars, especially since our hornworm adventure last year.
This years caterpillar is what I believe to be a Luna moth. We've christianed it "Bogey" on the supposition that Bear Grylls would say that that was what it would taste like. It is the biggest caterpillar I have ever seen. Mike found Bogey & alerted me so that I could catch him. Only a day earlier I saw a giant piece of bird poo on a leaf, but on second glance it was too symetrical for mere poo. They both hung out for only 2 or 3 days in our jar before pupating/ cacooning. The bird poo one looked like an entirely different avian movement in its cocoon, lol. She hatched out this morning, a common swallowtail. This is she, expanding her wings:

And here is Bogey, (s)he went through 2 of these giant leaves a day before spinning its nest.

Well, they don't look so giant in the picture, but they were until s(he) ate them down. That's another neat thing! I don't know if you can see them too clearly in the picture or not, but there are orange spots along Bogey's sides. I got into the habit of checking on it several times a day & on the day it nested, there were all of these tiny silk threads coming out from all of the dots. It is a silk worm, but I never knew how they pupated themselves before. Here is Bogey, a few days into its nest. Though its threads were bright whight when first spun, they've faded considerably to dingy gray. I ripped away most of the dead leaves before taking this picture. Those threads are strong, too.

Well, I took what I thought was a neat video of a group of male swallowtails scenting, but can't get the video to work. I'm probably a nerd for it anyway, but if Bogey makes it I'll update on what it is.

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