Jan 20, 2011

Poor Mr (or Miss) Moth

This last summer we had the chance to witness one of natures miracles. The life cycle of a moth, or at least several stages. We have a large poplar in our yard and therefore there are lots of bugs to inspect. We have found several species of crawly critters. One was a woolly bear. We put him in a jar and kept him in the house, shortly after he started to make a cocoon by pulling out the hair on his body. We actually got to watch as he worked. Below is a picture of his cocoon.
He emerged several months latter and was a very nice looking moth. Unfortunately for the poor guy, he came out at the wrong time of year and we where unable to keep him alive. Here is a picture I took of him eating the nectar we made for him.
He was a very pretty little guy (or gal) but despite our efforts he didn't make it, we where all a little sad but his very short life made quite the impression on my kids. This is actually the second moth we have "raised". The first started out as a caterpillar we found in the tree also. He made his cocoon hanging on a small branch we had in the jar and hatched about 3-4 weeks latter. We then had a chance to release him back to the tree while it was still very warm. The only bad thing was he didn't give us a chance to witness his great cocoon making skills. Here is a picture of him as a caterpillar. Silly me didn't think to take a picture of him after he hatched (well until we let him go). Here he is.
He turned into a small white moth with large hairy antenna. We where very blessed to be able to witness both of these transformations this last summer and hope for great bug hunting this summer.