Wednesday, June 27, 2007
A friend of Nannette's folks found a huge cecropia moth that couldn't fly* and thought of Ben's love all things creepy, crawly and slimy from a conversation she once had with him. She brought the moth to Memere et Pepere and they couldn't wait to show it to Ben so they hopped in the car and brought it over. Ben took it with him for the last day of school, where it was quite a hit with his classmates.
After lunch that day we brought the moth to the backyard and set it free on a branch were it remained the rest of the day. In the morning it was gone, perhaps in search of a mate.
With a wingspan of 5 to 6 inches, the cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia) is the largest North American moth. It is a member of the family Saturniidae. Cecropia moths are often referred to as silkworm moths.
Although these moths are common throughout North America, you don't often see them because they fly only at night.
Cecropia moths do not live long (about two weeks) because the adult cecropia cannot eat. In fact, they don't even have a mouth or proboscis! The only purpose of the adult stage is to mate and lay eggs.
Males cecropia moths have been marked and are known to have flown over seven miles in search of the wind-born female pheromone scent plume.