Cecropia Moths, Hyalophora cecropia
Sometime back in mid March, I was fishing at our farm's reservoir and I ran across a large cocoon. It was attached along the length of a small tree branch right on the edge of the water.
Not having any idea what was in it, I tore it open and I found this very large pupa.
I brought them both home, did some research, and found with suprising ease (thanks to this expert) that these were Cecropia moth pupae. Wanting desperately to film the emergence of this moth, I set up my time-lapse rig in my gargage closet and began shooting. I suspected from my reading that it would be about 2 weeks before eclosure so I spaced the photos out to about every 5-10 minutes at first. I waited and waited and waited. after about 3 weeks I got tired of watching time-lapse videos of a moth pupa sitting still, so I added some growing soybeans into the frame and continued the filming. At this point I was shooting 1 picture every 20 minutes. I wasn't prepared for the emergence of the first moth from the intact cocoon, but it came out and sat for a while. I missed the best part of the action of the moth emerging due to the long interval between pics. I did take some great photos of the adult moth before letting it go. Here is the video showing the whole above mentioned process:
Below is a nice pic of the moth after it emerged. It had a wingspan of around 5.5 inches. Here is a large version of my best Cecropia moth photo.
This post and many better ones are on board Modulator's Friday Ark #291 so don't forget to have a look!!