Saturday, June 25, 2005

Porch Wildlife

Yesterday as I stepped up onto the porch, I found an amazing Polyphemus moth on my back door. (Okay, I had to look it up, it's plate 567 in the Audubon insect field guide.) This moth's larvae are bright green, thick as your thumb caterpillars. I see them once in awhile on my oak trees. I think this moth was newly emerged from a coccoon, because it wasn't very good at being a moth yet. It made no successful attempt to fly even when I slipped my hand under it for a picture. It did instinctively display it's false eyespots. That was pretty neat.False eyespots are a survival adaptation used by quite a few animals. The idea of the eyespot is to startle or intimidate a predator.

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