Tuesday, September 28, 2010

like a moth to a flame...




Good moro' my little Wizards!
Last week brought many correct assumptions that the photo-puzzler was of the moth family! But alas, no one could correctly identify the little fellow or fella ( I never bothered to ask, er check for sexual classification!) 
The nearest presumption at all was Staci from Mommas Gone Over the Wall, our winning Wizard from last week, with a guess of a Luna moth. Very close but, nope. 

Let's take a peek a the whole thing...


Isn't he (or she) handsome! Just hanging around on my dusty downstairs door. What a delight it was to come upon! Hubby spied it first and we both ran for cameras.


Do not look at the dust or spiders and their webs, they tend to be everywhere out here in the boonies. 
So what is this interesting creature called?

An Imperial Moth!

A large American moth with yellowish wings with purple markings.

Wing span: 3 1/8 - 6 7/8 inches (8 - 17.4 cm).

Caterpillar hosts: Conifers and deciduous trees and shrubs including pine, oak, box elder, maples, sweet gum, and sassafras. A subspecies pini feeds only on conifers. I have plenty of maples and pines, and with all the surrounding woods I think they have quite a choice for a delicious buffet everyday.

Adult food: Adults do not feed. (too busy looking for dates, pairing up, and you know the rest)

Habitat: Deciduous and evergreen forests.

Range: Maine west to eastern Nebraska, south to the Florida Keys and central Texas. Subspecies pini occurs across the northern Great Lakes basin and the northern third of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. 



Here is one of those nasty spider webs, we are not sure what our moth friend had in mind here, since adults do not eat I assume they do not attack spiders or eggs??
Maybe just testing some acrobatic skills? 
Talk about hanging on by a thread!

There is only one brood a year for the Imperial Moth. Adults emerge before sunrise and mate after midnight the next day (love flies fast into a burning flame!) Females lay large yellow eggs at dusk singly or in groups of 2-5 on both surfaces of host plant leaves. The eggs hatch in about 2 weeks. The day before they hatch, the egg turns from milky yellow to translucent white.
  
As caterpillars they are solitary feeders.  
(must be from all those one night stands!) 
sorry, I am full of groaners today...


The first incidence of instar generally lasts a few days.
An instar is a developmental stage of arthropods, such as insects, between each moult, until sexual maturity is reached. Arthropods must shed the exoskeleton in order to grow or assume a new form. The Imperial Moth caterpillar will sometimes eat the old exoskeleton for protein nutrition (yuck). They normally have five instars before they ready for the next chapter of their lives, to develop into a pupa.
 When these caterpillars are ready to pupate, they burrow underground.  They emerge next season as an adult.



In this instance they are somewhat like the 17 Year Cicadas I introduced you to earlier this year. It might explain why I find so many little holes in the ground during different times of the spring and summer. 
The big holes... well lets just say it could be any manner of beast!

Okay Wizards, before I leave you with next weeks consideration I thank you again for playing along! Mr. Linky will be below for those who like to follow and play the mid-week memes. Reading your comments and guesses are like little tastes of chocolate, once is never enough.

For next week ...


perhaps another??



 until next time . . . 



46 comments:

  1. Awesome Pictures!! :)

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  2. That is a beautiful moth. Wonder what that caterpillar looks like?

    As to this week's, it looks like the head feathers on one of my banties!

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  3. Too good shots, ideal for NGC magazines.

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  4. We once had a black Polish I think with a similar sort of headdress although I don't recall all the red perhaps ours was a different gender.

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  5. EWWW on the moths LOL, but cool shots! As for this week, I'm guessing some breed of rooster/chicken?? Happy WW!! :-)

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  6. Very nice pics. Not a big Moth fan ..lol but I still love the shots

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  7. what a great shot of that moth.. Happy WW. Feel free to come link up on my Wordish Wednesday blog hop too :)

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  8. Nice pics! I'm guessing some sort of fancy chicken. lol Happy WW!

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  9. Wonderful captures.

    Happy WW.

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  10. Great pictures of that moth! My first guess was going to be banty rooster, but the feather plume is just too much. So, I am going to guess either a Polish or Appenzellar Rooster.

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  11. That is a huge moth. WOW! very cool!

    happy Wednesday! can't wait to see the fluffy rooster next week.

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  12. Why do so many people post pics of bugs on WW? butterflies are the only bugs that don't creep me out.

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  13. funny how it loves to pose for the camera! hehehe

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  14. My WW for today is a moth, and it actually is a Luna. But it's just part of the picture. Come see!

    On a recent trip to Branson, we saw a host of hummingbird moths buzzing around a flower bed. That was a sight to see as well.

    I'm with the group saying that this week's puzzle is some type of fancy chicken!

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  15. That thing is HUGE!!! I thought that it was fake at first.

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  16. ok, you've stumped me! What is that for next week??? I almost want to say it's like a hairy rooster of something..LOL!!!

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  17. Chicken? Fancy chicken? LOL.

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  18. I love it! Happy WW!
    My WW last week was of a butterfly as well. She was resting on my toes =0)

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  19. Happy WW! That looks like an upside down chicken.

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  20. That moth is huge! Really great photos. I think the mystery photo is a chicken with a bad case of bedhead. :)

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  21. Fact: Moths of all types make delicious cat treats. I have researched this (i.e. caught many a moth) and found it to be true.

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  22. That is a big moth...I have never seen anything like that before.

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  23. I think your newest is a chicken but...not sure of the breed. We have a couple that have a mop top head but Grumpy is the chicken person on the farm...I'm stick to Alpacas.

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  24. wow great pics. thanks for lettting me link up

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  25. Great lens capture. Moths are strange and I amazing me how many there are.

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  26. I love nature photos! :o) I'm guessing the last snaps are of some kind of bird...maybe a chicken? New follower and visiting from Aspire. Happy Wednesday! :o) Larri at Seams Inspired

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  27. A bird, maybe chicken.

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  28. That's a funky chicken! :)

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  29. Holy cow, that moth is HUGE! What an amazing find!

    Hope you'll stop by my WW post and leave your link!

    http://table4five.net/2010/09/29/wordless-wednesday-kaitlyn-strikes-a-pose-or-three/

    table4five@gmail.com

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  30. BEAUTIFUL moth! It looks so pretty! Lauren is such a girly girl and she FREAKED out when she saw a moth the other day. We had a long talk about how they're pretty to look at and they won't hurt you. :)

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  31. I love moth pictures!

    Happy WW!

    Cheers :-)
    - CoconutPalmDesigns

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  32. Eek! I know moths are harmless and won't hurt me, but I'm deathly afraid of them. It took a lot for me to not close your blog tab. lol I had to at least leave a comment and link up. You've been so great aout stopping by my place, it's the least I could do. lol With that said, I think the mystery photo looks like a chicken of some kind. A rare or uncommon breed, perhaps? I'm sure I'm totally off, but that's okay. It's fun to guess anyway.
    Thanks for stopping by and linking up!

    Kristi, Live and Love...Out Loud
    @Tweetingmama

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  33. Why does an upside down chicken head come to mind?

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  34. Hi there! I am your newest follower from the Wordless Wednesday blog hop! Lovely blog:) You can find me at www.bouffeebambini.blogspot.com

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  35. Looks like a head on a chicken!

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  36. Those are some awesome moth shots. LOVE that third one. The angle is really interesting. Looks like a rooster or chicken for next week? Happy WW! Thanks for linkin up.

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  37. Those are so awesome shots. Lovely!!

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  38. Yay for being close last week! This week's is definitely a chicken, but I can't remember what the breed's called.

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  39. Wow great photos very interesting!

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  40. Yeah, I wouldn't have been grabbing the camera I would have been grabbing the swatter, LOL - but when you really look at it, it is beautiful!

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  41. That would scare me if I saw it. Huge!

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  42. Really, really cool. Until you showed the underneath of the blasted thing.

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  43. Wow, that is a huge moth! So pretty though and great pictures. I never would have guessed that.

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Comments are always welcome :)