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To every thing there is a season...
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 7076
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 5:27 pm    Post subject: To every thing there is a season... Reply with quote

For those of you who may remember this... Cocoon , this is the end result after months of waiting. Yes it was worth it. Wink



For the past two or three days now, the cocoon had been taking spells of violently shaking within the glass jar, obviously something was about to take place soon.



Though I had my camera ready and hoping to capture the moment of emergance, it did not happen. I was going about my daily routine and just happened to think of checking on the cocoon. These things happen quite fast because only an hour, maybe two or so earlier I had just checked on it, as it was doing its "shake, rattle, and roll." Rolling Eyes

The moth was quite fat and the wings appeared as to the likeness of a fine chamois, though dark brown like leather. It had exited through the very top of the cocoon, through a hole no larger than the diameter of a pencil. The wings hung limp and I only got a peek between them as it climbed on to my hand with those big hairy legs. Sort of reminded me of a SPIDER! Shocked A big one at that but I could not help but to feel a sense of joy as it stopped and came to rest on my hand. I took the moth over to the Gray Dogwood tree in my front yard, where I nudged it off on to the tree trunk in amongst some heavy leaves, where I could be reasonably sure a bird would not get to it. Like a proud parent with a new baby I kept checking in on it periodically to make sure it was alright. Very Happy
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Aynia



Joined: 01 May 2008
Posts: 724
Location: Europe somewhere

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's very lovely looking. Do you know what he is?

And the way my laptop is, I saw the legs first and nearly had a fit. Very spiderlike.!!

Congratulations on your new arrival. Very Happy
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 7076
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have yet to look but I think that it is a Sphinx Moth of some type. The legs were quite powerful I suppose for a moth, I don't know a lot about them but they sure can grip, as I felt them as it crawled upon my hand out of the jar. Very Happy
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Gordon C. Snelling



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 300
Location: California

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sphingid, it is one of the giant silk moths.
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jaharris1001



Joined: 29 Jun 2007
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Location: Deltona Florida

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow what a beautifull specimen there Ken,, I take it you took the cocoon home with you in hope of catching its emergence, but then after missing you just released the moth ? a proud parent you must be Very Happy a beautifull moth there for sure
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 7076
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 4:25 pm    Post subject: Moth Update, film at eleven... Reply with quote

Thanks for the ID there Gordon, much appreciated and yes, Jim, I have had the cocoon since December of last year in hopes of this particular moment. Though I missed the actual emergance, it was still a joy to see, hold, and photograph the moth.

These things do not waste any time either. Before leaving for work this morning I checked on the moths welfare. To my surprise, it had company and I caught the two lovers in the act. Deciding work would have to wait, I ran back inside for my camera and by the time I got back out, another missed shot! Sad The male, I presume, had fallen away and was lying spent on the the ground, having hit head first, as you see in the photo below, a real "crash and burn" type of pose. Though I cannot recall ever having done that. Think



I don't know a lot about moths or insects in particular but I recall that some male insects die after mating. A shame really, that a guy can find himself in quite a dire situation over something such as...



... this!

But, then again it might have just been resting. Wonder if moths "smoke?" Bad for their health you know. Think Laughing
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 19323
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Polyphemus moth -- see BugGuide.

These critters are great fun. Beautiful caterpillars too.

The mating ritual you observed was unusual to say the least. It's customary for the females to breed shortly after emergence, but from what I've seen the process usually takes hours, not minutes, and the male leaves intact. Wikipedia is explicit that the males can mate multiple times. I have no idea what happened to this critter of yours. Confused

--Rik
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 7076
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The emergance took place around 4:30PM on the 18th, the moth was moved to the Dogwood tree about an hour or so afterwards and spent the night there. The photo of the male was taken this morning around 06:25AM after having fallen away from the female, so there was several hours for the mating to progress through.

Thanks Rik and that completes the ID Very Happy
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, I misread the timeline!

Now it seems that everything was perfectly normal and this was just the male's last hurrah, so to speak.

Finding big moths is always a treat. They are getting scarce to non-existent where I live. Even the tomato sphinxes don't show up anymore. Sad

--Rik
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 7076
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems as though your link to Wiki answered a question that I had and that was how does the female communicate that she is ready to mate? Pheromones, as I suspected. I collected the male for keeping, though it is still just bearly alive. Wiki also stated that the adults usually live about a week if I am not mistaken. So the male I have should expire here soon I would imagine. A perfect specimen it is too and so it is of to the "Nature Store" in Asheville for some mounting materials. Very Happy
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JoanYoung



Joined: 09 Oct 2007
Posts: 583
Location: South Africa

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A wonderful series Ken and a beautiful moth too. A pity it had to die so soon but I guess that everything in nature has a reason. Smile
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augusthouse



Joined: 16 Sep 2006
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Location: New South Wales Australia

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Though I cannot recall ever having done that.


Ken you might be doing something wrong???

I've enjoyed the ongoing episodes of this story.


Joan,
Did I miss something. Are you back in civilisation or did you find a satelite?

Craig
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JoanYoung



Joined: 09 Oct 2007
Posts: 583
Location: South Africa

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig
Quote:
Did I miss something. Are you back in civilisation or did you find a satelite?

Hi Craig. I am out in the glorious bush!! I did manage to find a satelite signal, but after moving I spend almost two weeks in bed with bronchitis so I only got back to work last week and am snowed under at the moment (with work not snow LOL!!) I have hardly taken a photograph lately with being in bed so long so I do not have much to post but will sometime soon. Thanks for asking. Smile
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Joan Young
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 7076
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Joan (hope you are feeling better) and Craig. Very Happy Glad that you enjoyed the series. I suppose that about wraps things up with this moth, unless I go out this morning to find a more eventful scene. If the moths mate several times, she may have another suitor, who knows eh? Think

Thanks again Very Happy
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JoanYoung



Joined: 09 Oct 2007
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Location: South Africa

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Ken. It will be nice to eventually be able to breath without my whole chest and throat burning like this and to be able to get one nights sleep without coughing the whole time. I was last sick more than 20 years ago so I am not used to being ill. Smile But I am determined to survive in order to be able to bug you on the forum again. Laughing
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