Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hello Giant Leopard Moths!

We suddenly have many Giant Leopard Moths hanging out on our back porch.  We never had them around in the previous years we lived here.  They are nocturnal, only flying at nighttime.  They just sleep there on the back porch during the day.  They are very pretty.

From Wikipedia:

The Giant Leopard Moth or Eyed Tiger Moth (Hypercompe scribonia) is a moth of the family Arctiidae. It is distributed throughout the Southern and Eastern United States from New England to Mexico. The obsolete name Ecpantheria scribonia is still occasionally encountered.

This species has a wingspan of 3 inches (nearly 8 cm). The wings of this moth are bright white with a pattern of neat black blotches, some solid and some hollow. The abdomen is dark blue with orange markings, the male has a narrow yellow line on the sides. Its legs have black and white bands. Adult moths are strictly nocturnal and do not generally fly before nightfall (Fullard & Napoleone 2001).

The caterpillar is of the "Woolly Bear" kind, with a thick coat of black bristles (setae) and red or orange colored bands between its segments which become conspicuous when caterpillar rolls into a ball for defense.


LindaG said...

Not seen them before, but they look quite pretty. :)

Farm Girl said...

Ours are never that big. Maybe a inch. We do get the wooly bear caterpillars.

Nancy said...

Really great photos you got of them. Very pretty.

Terry said...

Very pretty, and a 3" wingspan! Wow!

Terry said...

Very pretty!

CaliforniaGrammy said...

I've never seen such a big moth! They are beautiful to look at but I think I'd freak out at night with them flying around me. Great photos!

Robin said...

How pretty. I've never seen one before either.

chook said...

fantastic! nature never ceases to amaze and amuse me. they are such gorgeous creatures.

Knatolee said...

Aren't they gorgeous? I love the black and white patterns!

Hey, we are going to be in Maryland/DC at the end of August and I was hoping to see Genny (I suppose I should mention that to her!) Do you want to join in as well? There are a few people I want to meet! I was hoping to have lunch or dinner somewhere. :)

Razzberry Corner said...

LindaG - We see all sorts of new things around here!

Farm Girl - I guess we get the wooly bear caterpillars, too! :)

Nancy - Thanks!

Terry - They are big! But what's odd is that they sleep during the day. They just sit on the back porch and sleep! They don't fly away if you touch them!

CAGrammy - I agree, I'd freak out, too!!!!!! LOL

Robin - They are pretty. Unique. Who knew they'd show up?

chook - Yes, nature amazes me, too!

Nat - YES!!! I'll be there! Actually, Genny & I just had lunch and mentioned you and your visit! We can't wait!!!