Found this incredible Imperial Moth by my porch lights this morning! First time ever seeing this species!
This is a large North American moth in the family Saturniidae, the same family as other impressive moths like Luna or Promethea Moths. Adult moths, like this one, lack functional mouthparts, and do not eat during their short adulthood.
This photo was taken back in June 2010 at one in the morning. I was about to go to bed, when I noticed this Io moth sitting on the edge of the sink. I grabbed a camera, and caught this odd shot. The perspective is so wacky in this shot that I like it.
The Io moth is a fairly large North American moth but not as large as it seems in this photo…nor is the sink :) This moth’s wing span can reach 3.5 inches. The forewings, body and legs of the male are yellow, and those of the female reddish-brown, so I am assuming this must be a male. These nocturnal moths have only vestigial mouth parts, so don’t feed as adults. The female dies soon after mating, and laying eggs. The large eye spots on the hind wings are a defense mechanism meant to scare off predators.
After taking this pic, I let this moth back outside to fulfill its destiny.