Friday, August 1, 2008

Poor Imperial Moth!

This morning, I found a huge moth that had been brought in by the cats. Thinking it was dead, I picked it up, but it flapped its wings! My mom and I took it outside and took pictures. He (or she) was looking pretty bad:

I got out the "Big Book of Bugs" (it's actually called The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders, but that's a mouthful!) and looked at the moths. You can tell he's a moth because he has his wings down when resting. Butterflies always have their wings up while resting. Anyways, we figured out he was an Imperial Moth and discovered lots about him. Here's a little lesson on Imperial Moths.
The Imperial Moth, or Eacles imperialis, has a wingspan of about 4-6 inches. The wings are yellow and purplish-gray (when they haven't been chewed up by cats). It has a fuzzy body, as you can see from the picture.
They live in deciduous forests (that's us!) and are commonly found from June-August.
Sadly, Imperial Moths are dying out because the love to bask in artificial light until dawn, so they are easy prey for birds (and cats). You can help by not having very many artificial lights on at night, and also, remember they can't hurt you. Admire them and don't fear them.
Well, that's it. I hope you liked it!

1 comment:

Ellie said...

A fascinating entry in your blog. I am not sure I have ever seen an Imperial Moth, but will be on the lookout now that I know how to identiful one.
Thanks for this. Grammy