Chronicaling the lunacy of taming three acres in Tidewater Virginia, one square foot at a time!

"Gardens... should be like lovely, well-shaped girls: all curves, secret corners, unexpected deviations, seductive surprises and then still more curves. ~H.E. Bates, A Love of Flowers

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Way Cool on Our Country Porch!!

Every evening we check the front porch, where a wide variety of frogs, and moths and bugs gather around the plants and the lights. Tonight, Goddess Support spied this critter, who by his sluggish behavior, must have just recently emerged.
He seemed not to mind being gently handled for the photo's. While GS found the moth, I won tonight's "What's that Bug" contest by a hair....
An Imperial Moth (Eacles imperialis) ...
Females are larger than males. Upperside is yellow with pinkish brown to purple-brown patches, bands, and cell spots, and tiny brown spots scattered overall. Males have larger patches on the forewings than females.

Adults emerge before sunrise and mate after midnight the next day. Females lay eggs at dusk singly or in groups of 2-5 on both surfaces of host plant leaves. The eggs hatch in about 2 weeks, and the caterpillars are solitary feeders. Pupation takes place in underground burrows.

Caterpillar hosts: Conifers and deciduous trees and shrubs including pine (Pinus), oak (Quercus), box elder (Acer negundo), maples (Acer), sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua), and sassafras (Sassafras albidum).

Adult food: Adults do not feed....they mate and die if not eaten by something else like a racoon , for instance!

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