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11 May 2009

Mystery solved

Rich got this one at first glance. It's a Rosy Maple Moth, the smallest Saturniidae (Wild Silk Moths) with a wingspread of 1½-2 inches.

One female will lay about 150 eggs, which hatch in about 8-10 days. In about a month, after molting 4 times, the caterpillars are full grown. They then move to the ground and work their way into the leaf litter where they pupate and overwinter in shallow underground chambers.

The caterpillars do feed on a variety of maples. Adults do not feed.


Suze said...

What a beautiful moth! Are they in Florida?

SophieMae said...

Suze, thye sure are! I find them around our place every year. For what it's worth, there's a range map hereIt only shows reported sightings, so is by no means complete.

Floridacracker said...

Thought mothy, but had no clue with those colors. Wow!

SophieMae said...

FC, they always make me think of sherbet.