A luna moth was the first moth I encountered here that blew my moth mind right open.
I saw it across the woods. Like so many curiousities here, nothing bold, just slightly the “wrong” green.
And I always investigate “the wrong green”.
The next was another Saturniidae, this time in its caterpillar form. A cecropia. Nearly the width of my boot at the toes. A great fat colourful beast of a caterpillar. Mesmerizing in its magnificence.
Most recently, you guessed it, another other Saturniidae. This time an Io moth. Being decidedly not “solely nocturnal”, but flopping around on our deck. I didn’t think it looked injured, and it got happily still once it found its way into the shade of the barbecue. It is hidden under there now, I’m guessing waiting quietly for night to fall.
What most captured me about the Saturniidae was not the magnficence of their size and colour and shape. But that the first thing I learnt is that while they have mouthparts, they don’t use them. Adult saturniids do not eat. So in their adult winged form, they live only for a week or two — off the fats they stored as larvae. “Adult behaviour is devoted almost entirely to reproduction”.
It’s short, but what a life.