imperial-moth

3

I found a really cool Imperial Moth earlier today! Put my hand down beside him/her, and it climbed right up.

It’s feet were really weird feeling - kinda sticky, and it’s belly was super soft.

I have pretty small hands, but this thing was huge!

It was super pretty, and one of several moths that I saw today. I swear I’m the moth-whisperer.. They always come to me, and land on me !

followthebluebell - thought you might want to see!

7

7/16/15                       Another Beautiful Moth.  

Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths) No Taxon  (Moths) Superfamily Bombycoidea Family Saturniidae (Giant Silkworm and Royal Moths) Subfamily Ceratocampinae (Royal Moths) Genus Eacles Species imperialis (Imperial Moth - Hodges#7704)

Numbers one of two species in this genus in North America listed at All-Leps
three subspecies listed at All-Leps: E. i. imperialis, nobilis, pini Size wingspan 80-174 mm; female larger than male
larva length to 100 mm Identification Adult: wings yellow, variably spotted and shaded with pinkish, orangish, or purplish-brown; male more heavily marked than female, especially in the south
[adapted from description by Charles Covell]

Pine Imperial Moth (subspecies E. i. pini) occurs from southern Quebec and northern Vermont to northern Michigan and western Ontario; the adult is smaller than nominate subspecies, with more pink spots on forewing, plus strong PM line on underside of hindwing, and the larva feeds only on pine - especially White Pine (Pinus strobus)
Texas Imperial Moth (subspecies E. i. nobilis) occurs in southeastern Texas; one-third of the adult population is completely shaded with pinkish-brown
[adapted from text by Charles Covell]

Larva: two variable color forms - green form varies from light green to dark green; brown form varies from orangish to chocolate brown to almost black; pair of spined dorsal tubercles on second and third thoracic segments, and sometimes first few abdominal segments; spiracles prominent, yellowish-white, ringed with black; many long whitish hairs dorsally, and shorter less dense ones laterally; short middorsal horn on ninth and tenth abdominal segments; prolegs larger on tenth segment than on other segments
[adapted from description by C.T. Maier et al] Range eastern United States plus Ontario and Quebec Habitat deciduous, mixed, and coniferous forests; adults are nocturnal and come to light
Season adults fly from June to August in the north; April to September/October in southern United States-larvae from July to October Food Larvae feed on leaves of Bald Cypress, basswood, birch, cedar, elm, hickory, Honeylocust, maple, oak, pine, Sassafras (Sassafras albidum), Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), sycamore, walnut.
Adults do not feed. Life Cycle Large yellow eggs are laid singly or in groups of 2-5 on both surfaces of host leaves, and take two weeks to hatch. Larvae are solitary feeders. Pupation occurs in underground burrows. Overwinters as a pupa in the soil. Adults emerge before sunrise and mate after midnight the next day. One generation per year in the north; one or two generations in the south. Remarks Imperial moths used to be found throughout New England but now, their only New England home is Martha’s Vineyard.