This is our newest nature study pet. It’s a Cecropia moth caterpillar and Alex got to bring it home to research how to keep it happy and healthy.
It snacked on one of its favorite foods, a branch from our cherry tree, for two days. Then it did its magic. We will hopefully meet it in its next form in early summer.
We’ve raised monarchs for years and we’ve ended up with a couple of other butterflies over the years but this is our first Crecopia.
It is technically a type of silk moth. They are massive moths too! They are the largest indigenous moths in North America.
Ohio Birds and Biodiversity has a great post about them, where they say:
For all of their ornate beauty, the adult Cecropia, like the other giant silkmoths, will live for but a week if that. It has no functional mouthparts and adults exist only to find a mate, and reproduce. They are little more than incredibly showy flying gonads. Once a pair has mated and the female has dropped her eggs, the moths soon wink out. It is the caterpillar stage that lasts by far the longest, and (arguably) is the most important facet of the moth’s lifecycle.
Here’s a picture of the moth stage, photographed by Tami Gingrich.
Ohio Birds and Biodiversity says:
No one, and I mean no one, would not stop for a double-take if they spotted one of these moths. If someone were to ignore one of these marvelous moths, I would feel compelled to declare them devoid of intellectual curiosity, and in a later stage of nature deficit disorder.
I’ll keep you updated……