Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Giant Silkworm Moths: Smart and Beautiful. Io, Polyphemus, and Luna Moth.

When eyespotted Giant Silkworm moths feel disturbed, they open their forewings to show the eyespots hidden on their underwings. You might be able to see why this can make the moth suddenly look like an owl: the bright yellow eyes, the bird's beak in the middle - even the feather tufts arising from many owls' heads, are all imitated.

The first pic shows a female io above, with folded wings; at rest she is nicely camouflaged. Below her a yellow male shows his eyespots. The next is a female io showing her eyespots.

Here's a polyphemus moth. They are huge; I hatched one with a wingspan of over 7".

Another storied silkworm: the luna moth. I took this in North Florida.

Photo Credits: Female/male io photo from Wikipedia,

Female io photo from Photographer: Ronald F. Billings, Texas Forest Service

Polyphemus photo from Photographer: Dan Mackinnon


Jean said...

WOW... just, WOW!

Now... go back to resting!

k said...

I'm so glad you liked them.

This resting business is not easy for me.

Jean said...

Patience with ourselves... a struggle for myself, in so many ways... keep taking care, you know it will be worth it.
Thinking about you a lot.

k said...

Yes. So much easier to be patient with others.

Seeing the angry red flash up that high, and watching the fever melt the Silvadene - and feeling that particular type of pain through every tissue in that leg - I think maybe I needed that, to remind me why the patience is worth it.

Thank you, Jean.

LL said...

Oh wow, I soooooo want pics of those moths after they morph!! How lucky are you to find that whole little bunch of baby orange caterpillars?!? Too cool.

k said...


LL found a bug she LIKES!

Woman, you just made my day!!!!

K T Cat said...

It's not just that the moths are gorgeous, the photography is outstanding as well. Thanks for sharing your talents with us.

I hope you're feeling better soon.

k said...

k t cat, I wish I could take credit for those photos - but all I can claim is the ability to surf them up and copy them. That last bit? I just learned how.

Only the very last pic is mine, the luna moth. And it could certainly stand some *photoshopping,* which I'm completely at a loss to do.

But thank you anyway!

K T Cat said...


The last picture was a great one. I love the site and will be back to visit.

k said...

Wow, thanks! Now THAT's nice to hear. Y'all come back any time, you are always welcome.

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Epic Brat Child said...

We caught a lo moth and at first it wouldnt fly so we broght it to biology class and when class was over some of the students and the biology teacher. The lo moth started to fly!! So we let it go and we found this website! Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to learn about this beatiful moth!

Washingtonkwnj said...

WOW... just, WOW! Now... go back to resting!

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