I call it a critter because they have fine hairy bodies and legs, and are fairly large and this one kinda made me nervous when I felt his meat hooks grab ahold of my hand, and I have large hands by the way....... These things are big! What is it?
It is. I could here a rather small 3 cylinder diesel running small bursts outside my bedroom window. I got dressed and went outside with my Anaconda 44 mag, and discovered small headlights in the grass........ We get a pair of them mating around the house every year. They are super cool, but if you set one on your hand, and feel them claws sink in to your skin, you know that they're going to start eating on your hand at any second!
The life cycle of the moth is much like any other saturniidae species. It lays oval-shaped, light brown eggs on the leaves of the host plant. When the eggs hatch, small black and hairy caterpillars emerge (first instar), and eat their eggshells.
Adult male cecropia shortly after eclosion
Sometimes the newly hatched caterpillars have yellow bristles, which darken in a few minutes. As the caterpillars age, they molt 4 times. The second instar is yellow-green with black spots and spiny orange, yellow, and blue knobs. The third and fourth instars have smaller spines, and are similar to each other. The fifth instar is a whitish color with bright yellow, blue, and red knobs. The caterpillars feed heavily on their host plant and can grow up to five inches long. They then spin cocoons of brown silk, usually wrapped in leaves of the host plant. They then pupate inside the two-layered cocoon. There is only one brood per year, the cocoon overwintering and emerging in spring. When the adults eclose, they have to pump fluid into their wings to extend them. The females emit pheromones at night, which the male can detect with its large, plumose antennae. Males can fly for miles in order to reach a female. The moths mate, and the female spends the remainder of her life laying eggs, while the male may mate several more times. Because the adult moths do not have mouth parts they are unable to eat. As a result, the lifespan for an adult Cecropia moth is generally only 7 to 10 days in the wild, perhaps a little longer or shorter, depending on how much movement the moth makes. For instance, if temperatures are cooler, the moth may remain mostly inactive, which will increase its lifespan. In captivity, this lifespan can be extended to about a month by placing the moth in the fridge directly after it hatches and its wings are dry. [Those who rear the moths may find this necessary to synchronize mating.]
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost
I would want to stick a pin in it and put it in a glass box frame on the wall. I think you're supposed to dip it in alcohol first for prosperity to preserve it. It is gorgeous! NO, I wouldn't want to play with it - just look at it.
BTW, thank you for sharing!!! I feel honored ... it is a real "find". I think you should let National Geograhic see this and I am not being smarty or anything. I do believe this is rare.