Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Learning About Lepidoptera - Part 2

So here is Part 2 :)  I wanted to cover moths in a separate entry. I know even less of this group. But I do enjoy discovering them in the field every once in while; in particular, the giant silk moths (family Saturniidae)!

A few years ago, I stumbled across a Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia). According to Wikipedia, it is North America's largest native moth. Pests have become quite a threat to this species. This one that I found was in Halton Region. I believe it is a male, because its plumose antennae is very bushy (females have moderately less bushy antenna). Someone may wish to correct me.

A few weeks ago I discovered a couple of Polyphemus Moths (Antheraea polyphemus) north of Acton while conducting Bobolink/Eastern Meadowlark surveys. It was interesting comparing its features in photographs to that of its close relative the Cecropia Moth. I love the translucent eyespots or 'windows' on the wings!

Cecropia Moth - male

Polyphemus Moth - upperside - female

Polyphemus Moth (underside hind and forewings)
male - note large, bushy antennae


Polyphemus Moth - underside hind and forewings

Front view of female - note small, fine antennae

 Next on my bucket list: Luna Moth!

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