Monday, July 23, 2012

Like a Flame to a Moth

OK. This photo shows almost the actual size of a massive moth that was on my porch the other night. I got the key in the door and was hoping the moth would still be there when I returned with my camera. I've never, ever seen a moth this big! It was about 4" long with substantial, velvety legs and a football hemlet-ed head. I dared not poke it, for fear that it would fly at me...which would make me scream or fall backwards off the porch. Instead, I told it to stay put, I took some pix and went inside to Google "huge orange moth."

Regal Moth, Royal Walnut Moth...Citheronia Regalis. This moth is not uncommon (!) and can be found mid-summer in Southern states. It is mid-summer and I live in a Southern state. The larvae burrow underground and live there for up to two years. I think they come out to eat the dill --and apparently just the dill--in my herb planter. I saw some fat, brightly colored caterpillars this summer and last. 

It's the largest moth north of Mexico.

Wikipedia's got a pretty interesting entry with pix that will ensure that you wear flip flops, at the VERY least, while padding around or digging in the yard.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Larva grows to 6 inches. Yikes.

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