Friday, August 13, 2010

Found a Polyphemus Moth

Last night while leaving work I discovered a Polyphemus Moth. Actually I discovered two but the other one was scurrying away up the wall. It was the kind of situation I feel where had I been a half hour earlier I probably would have discovered the two mating.

Acting on impulse, I once again put a giant silk moth in the car as I drove home to take pictures. The last time I did this it was with a Luna Moth and the damn thing flew up on my nose while driving! Had I been in an accident I'd have smashed the thing to my face against the air bag leaving paramedics to wonder why I was wearing a cabaret mask.

Thankfully the Polyphemus moth was more cooperative. And what's more, upon getting home I reached down between the driver's side door and driver seat. Apparently Big Moth-e wants Out-e. I discovered she had started laying eggs!

I have read that if you put them in a "paper bag" over night they'll deposit some eggs. Well apparently it's not so much the texture of the bag as the moth naturally reacting to complete darkness! So I put her in a box for the night and sure enough she laid eggs.

I'll be letting her go later tonight just as it gets dark. My yard is after all full of host plants for her though I do wish I had some Birch trees. Apple, Maple, Ash, and according to Doug Tallamy, Button Bush are all used as host plants. Now that I have a few dozen eggs to toy around with I'm thinking I'll try and rear some caterpillars if they hatch. I do have the leaves for this after all. I'm just not sure what to do about winter. hmmm.