Tuesday, February 26, 2008

New On The Scene


This Polyphemus moth was resting on my porch patio table last week. It was a warmer day than we had seen in a while and I think those toasty temps triggered him to break out of his coccoon that very morning.
I say that, because he stayed on the table flipping and flapping like a moth who really hadn't flown before ... plus, he's perfect with no raggedy edges.

I hung out with him for about 10 minutes as he flopped around. I didn't want him to flutter off the table and down to dog level ... Flounder might think he was some kind of strange new chicken and give chase.

Suddenly, he was up in the air, flapping like an expert.
He zoomed out from under the porch, across the "yard", and into the oak trees beyond.

Just another spring thing here at PFHQ.

19 comments:

threecollie said...

Oh, how lovely! Those antennae...like feathers!

Paintsmh said...

He is certainly beautiful. Can't wait for spring here!!

dani813 said...

So neat!!!I need to find some cats of these.Have kept IO's before but these look even cooler.

Danielle Blogging for Balance said...

It's the small miracles that make our beautiful springs here in Florida...and you have to stop long enough to look...listen...and appreciate. I'm glad you did...the photos are awesome as always.

Laura said...

oh beautiful!! I haven't seen any of those locally. They did have some that looked like at the butterfly exhibit in g'ville last month, but I'm not sure if it's the same type.

Hope the rest of his/her family comes to visit!

Doug Taron said...

Beuatiful pictures of a beautiful moth. I agree with your assesment that it's a very fresh specimen.

Just after the museum opened, I got a phone call from somebody wanting a moth identification. His description was sufficiently detailed to mark the moth as a polyphemus. He asked if it would bo OK for the moth if he kept it overnight so he could show it to his four year old the next day. He had it in a big jar with netting over the top. The moth was female and shedding pheromones. When he and his daughter went out to look at it the next morning, there were about a dozen males hanging onto the outside of the cage. He was so excited that he called back and left a message. I thought he was going to hyperventilate, and also realized what a wonderful experience he got to share with his daughter.

kathy a. said...

gorgeous moth!

wow, doug -- what a story!

The Troll said...

Good picture!

Floridacracker said...

Okay, Doug's story is better than my post!
And it does trigger the ol'idea factory a bit ... I'll be keeping my eye out for a Polly Polyphemus.
That should be repeatable.

ThreeCollie,
They are why I'm calling him him.

Paint,
Poor cold thing, do not give up hope, I'm sure it will be beautiful when it happens.
We have a freeze warning for Wed, so...

Dani,
When my little ones were little, we kept a Hickory Horned Devil cat from 1 inch to giant cat and then adult moth.
They will never forget that experience.

Danielle,
I agree, it's beautiful and it's happening. We just have to go look.
Thanks!

Laura,
Down there, the exotic (fill in the blank) probably ate them!
We should see more of these on the porch soon.

Kathy A,
Ditto, what a cool experience!

Troll,
Thanks!

SophieMae said...

Ooo!!! He really is handsome, isn't he?! Moths are still pretty scarce up here. I'm hoping we'll have lunas again this year.

Freeze warning again! We're expecting low 20s Wed and low 30s Thurs. I am SO ready for winter to be over.

Floridacracker said...

Sophie,
This evening, we were under a tornado watch, a freeze warning for tomorrow, and a fire danger watch.
It's pouring rain of course with the first decent lightning since fall.

kathy a. said...

FC -- tornado, freeze, and fire watches, plus lightning, all at once?? geesh, the things people put up with to be out of earthquake country. :)

Cathy said...

Gorgeous. I wondered about the dogs. Good job.

Alan said...

My wife says that one is ok because it is a "pretty moth." :)

robin andrea said...

What a beautiful moth! It reminds me of a Hylaphora Euryalus, a ceanothus silk moth, I saw once. It was the very first moth I ever photographed. These large moths are really quite spectacular.

Larry said...

Oh, I'm just so envious! It'll be a couple of months before moths begin showing up here in Northeast Missouri. Good photos!

Floridacracker said...

Kathy A,
As a great philosopher (Mr. James Buffett) once wrote,
"I don't like the sound of the ground moving 'round, or wind spinning out of control,
California earthquakes only seem to make,
me shake, rattle and roll ...
:)

Cathy,
yes, they missed this event entirely.

Alan,
I will try not to post ugly ones.

Robin,
It was bigger than the bats that showed up that evening to flitter overhead.

Larry,
Well, remember we'll be sweltering and sweating ahead of you too, so it all evens out!
:)

Sharon said...

Wow, what a monster!

Jane said...

A beautiful moth. I love those "eyes" on the wings and those antenna. Great picture. I'm back in darkest Dorset now, so no more Florida pictures from me for a while. Thanks. Jane