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.