Sunday, November 26, 2006

They Hatched!

Or whatever you call it when moths emerge from their little pupae. Posted by Picasa

This is what I saw when I checked my container of pupae before I went back to sleep. Two moths, quietly hanging from the twigs sticking out of the cocoon nursery.

Naturally, it rather woke me up.

So I've been taking pix with my Nikon. And below are what I got with the digital, too. Sorry this first one's so indistinct. I was a little leery of disturbing them. But, in the end, they permitted me to actually handle them.

There are two moths in this pic - the left is a male, smaller and lighter; the right is a female. I was hoping the females would be the special reddish brown Florida color variety - and it looks to me like they are.

There was a third male, hanging on the inside of the container.

I had fun and played with them for a while, and now all three are outside. Free.


Anonymous said...

Highly unusual looking moths..

Looks like a weird face with an unusual hairdo. *grin*

k said...

Well! Your astute observation just goes to show you can think like a critter.

From me, that's a high compliment.

Word is, moths are tasty to various predators. Those same predators are often prey, themselves, to owls. Owls are fierce and scary.

So when these moths (and many of their relatives) feel threatened, they snap out their drab, camouflage-colored top wings to reveal what looks like the face of an owl.

Those eyes. The middle part that looks like a beak. The funny hairdo - which looks like the tufts of feathers many owls have on the sides of their heads.

Cool, huh?

Livey said...

owls are fierce and scary?
They piss me off, always screeching and whoing all damn night.
Of course, when I've had enough, I hunt em down (which tree they are in, or on my deck railing) and yell at them.
Either they aren't so fierce or I'm more fierce cuz they always go away and stay away for a few days/nights.

pepektheassassin said...

You'd make Annie Dillard proud!

Nancy said...

Hooray for moths!

I've not found as many cocoons or pupa this year. Don't know why, except that the weather's been kooky. I have seen lots of leaves eaten however, so I'm pretty sure there are at least three species who have, perhaps, flown away.

Now, more outside pictures!!

k said...

Sure owls are fierce and scary. Especially to cute little moths. Who try to look like owls to scare off other scary predators, who are scared of owls.

However, YOU are MORE fierce and scary. Well, we already knew that. So you go yell and holler at them and they not only leave, they stay away for days.

See how this food chain thing works? ;-)

Me? Up north I used to whistle through my hands and do the whoo-whoo'ing back at them. You can get them talking to you for an hour if you want.

miss assassin, you're making me blush all over this place here tonight/1

And Nancy, I've been wondering whether you had time for your usual chrysalis collecting, what with all the excitement. From the very beginning of reading your blog I must confess to a certain pupa envy.

Me, I have to get them as caterpillars if I want a good chrysalis. Or, knowing I'm the neighborhood critter oddball, the neighbor kids and adults will drop them off at the house.

This is probably the one time I'll ever have more cocoons than you.

And oh, yes, outside pix are Coming Soon! Sunlight gonna hurt my mole-eyes!

prettylady said...

IO moths were some of my very favorites, as a kid. So lucky you ended up with some!

k said...

Oh ho! So you know what they are. I have a feeling I'm going to keep getting ios galore, now.

Not only have did these adults make it out to reproduce, I saw another caterpillar army on the orchid tree not long ago. I spotted them first as tiny orange babies, then later as little green ones.

At the time I had enough work keeping the first brood in leaves, so I left the new army alone.

One fine day, I saw one had gotten separated from its family and was wandering around the front porch, a little lost soul. All lonesome looking.

So naturally, I brought it inside. It was a bit dicey but then it thrived, and keeps getting bigger and bigger.

More fun to come.

You notice I never stopped being a kid.

Good thing, too.