Moths - the nighttime butterflies 

Moths are not seen so frequently as Butterflies since they fly by night when humans tend to sleep. Does it make them less beautiful or less worthy of survival? We see the caterpillars of both, but often the caterpillars of moths are labeled 'bad'.

My story of a Polyphemus moth (Antheraea polyphemus)

One early Sunday morning we were biking through our neighborhood. Oak trees line the streets, it is nice to ride the bike in their shade. 

And that is what I saw on the road, a huge, Huuuge! green caterpillar. Running into that beast would have surely dented my bike!

giant silkworm caterpillar

Since it was really super large and it looked like it was trying to find a safe spot, I decided to take it with my to Myrtle Glen for observation.

We set up a small terrarium with a layer of soil and mulch, added twigs, leaves and the caterpillar and waited.
Did not have to wait long, the following day we found a cocoon in the terrarium. Egg shaped and almost as big as an egg.

August 31

Now we had to wait. About 4 weeks later, the moth was ready. I missed the actual hatching (is it called hatching for a moth? but you know what I mean), but it must have happened just a few minutes before I checked that late afternoon.

October 2

And here it is, the surprise!
A large, beautiful, brand new Polyphemus moth


Fur coat in Florida??

This angle is from the underside, the 4 spots are see-through, like small windows

Time to let it out of the terrarium, it is placed on the butterfly chair

The moth is stretching its wings, giving us the opportunity to keep snapping close up pictures

Just look at its size!!

Pumping the wings, up and down. won't be long before it takes off

It sure is a plump one

Perfect antennae to pick up the scent of its future mate

Read more about the Polyphemus moth.