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Giant Silk Moths

Posted on Jun 14, 2015

I know I’m easily distracted, and I know I should have been preparing for an RTPI Foundation Board meeting, but I could not pass up the opportunity to get a closer look at the beautiful creatures hanging out on the light post in front of RTPI this morning. I should have known that I would not be able to sneak out of the building carrying a butterfly net and a step ladder without anyone noticing…

Twan Leenders Net

Two giant silk moths on the same light post! A Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia) and a Luna Moth (Actias luna) were enjoying a little daytime nap before continuing their mission: to find a mate and reproduce in the few days that they have to live. The adults of both species don’t even have mouthparts and can’t eat during the 1-2 weeks they have to live.

Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia)

Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia) – the largest moth in the US with a wingspan of 5-6″

Luna Moth (Actias luna)

Luna Moth (Actias luna) – photographed for the Meet Your Neighbours global diversity project

All that matters is that they continue their life cycle and lay eggs as soon as possible. Cecropia Moths are the largest moths in North America and with a wing span of 5-6 inches they are a sight to behold!

Twan Leenders
RTPI President