Silk Moth

About 11:45 this morning, I noticed some activity at the pupa I found in Prospect Park and brought home to see if it would hatch out. It’s a giant silk moth of some kind, not sure which yet. Above you can see one of the feathery antennae, which has unfurled after being forced out of the casing. The antenna is about 1/2 inch long. They don’t call them giants for nothing. I suspect this is a male, since they have much larger antennae, the better to find you with, my dear.
Here’s some of the face and a jointed foot a little later.

Two hours later, though, and there is now very little activity, contrasting with the great struggle earlier as he worked to get out. The moth is only about 1/3 way out of the casing now. No idea if this is normal or not.

5pm update: Looks bad. The other antenna did not unfurl, and one of the wings looks torn from the emergence. Also, he isn’t climbing to release his wings as he should. Sigh. Anyway, this looks like it might be a polyphemus moth, Antheraea polyphemus.

7pm update: Looks like this one didn’t make it. I just noticed a fly landing on it, always a bad sign (not for the fly, of course).

1 Response to “Silk Moth”

  1. 1 amarilla May 22, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Best wishes for the little cosmonaut.

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