Sunday, October 17, 2010

painted tiger moth ~ 10/17/10 ~ at home

painted tiger moth
Arachnis picta

I found this painted tiger moth sitting on top of her just-laid eggs next to our front door. She was covered in cobwebs. Maybe I'm unusual, but I haven't cleared the plethora of webs from our entryway, because I figure the spiders need nourishment this time of year to lay their own eggs. I took the moth inside to clean her off and take a few pics. She was already a bit worn, and yet she was determined to get away from the light of the window while I tried to take pictures. Once I was done with the photo shoot, I set her back next to her eggs. She was gone the next morning.

This is the second moth egg set I've seen in the past 2 weeks on our building. The other set already hatched with tiny fluffball caterpillars that started dropping off the wall with my smallest exhale. Larval Arachnis picta are fairly ugly compared to their adult kin, especially right before they pupate. I found this InsectNet.com site to be particularly good for showing the stages of painted tiger moth development. I'm going to take note when the eggs hatch. Who knows, I may pull out my old containers and raise these moths for the heck of it. I just hope the caterpillar hairs are not urticarious. I learned my lesson with mosquitos, honey bees, io moths, and walking sticks that feed on blackberry - I do not want to raise anything that involves biting, or stinging parts, or feeding on prickly things! I originally posted a pic of this moth on Flickr with what I think is the true version of the famous Bourdillon poem.

ps 10/26/10 - For a follow-up post of hatched eggs, click here.

pss 09/23/11 - I found my first painted tiger moth today on the wall of our building.

14 comments:

texwisgirl said...

Oh she's just beautiful! I'm glad you saved her from the webs - I don't brush mine down either since I think the spiders do a good job around the place. :)

I hope her eggs hatch for you. Will be neat to watch the morphing. Very nice post!

Erica Lea said...

What an exotic beauty! I'll be curious to see if you raise the eggs. And, are you telling me you've raise mosquitoes? Lol! I hope not...:)

Nature ID (Katie) said...

She is a very pretty moth.

twg, folks have joked that we're already decorated for Halloween, what with all the cobwebs around. It doesn't help that there are various insect body parts left hanging in the webs, mainly dark brown termite wings. I'm not sure if I should be worried yet since the termites could have come from the neighbors.

Erica, I now wish I hadn't destroyed the dandelion shoots in my compost. If her eggs hatch this season, I'm not sure I'll have enough plant material to feed them. And, yes, I've raised a colony of Limatus durhamii, a pretty tropical mosquito in the sabethine tribe for my research advisor. I think he was sadistic, as he was also my medical entomology professor and twice asked to have bed bugs feed on us during lecture to demonstrate the Jones-Motes levels of hypersensitivity. Btw, you can't feel bed bugs feeding.

Susan said...

one of the things I enjoy about blogging is meeting people that have amazing knowledge of things (like moths eggs and bed bug bites) that I have yet to learn. In simple word..wow.

Nature ID (Katie) said...

Thanks, Susan. Nice new profile pic! You were one of my first blog followers, and you should know by now that I don't know much.

Jennifer and Steve said...

Gorgeous moth! I love, love, love! While cleaning our new house I am avoiding all spiders as much as possible. There have been a few fatalities for sure, but they are so good to have around. :)

Nature ID (Katie) said...

Thanks, Jennifer (I'm assuming it's you and not Steve). The eggs have hatched and I've posted an update. Good luck with your new house! It looks like a ton of work, but oh so rewarding. Hope you put in a porch swing once you knock out the enclosure walls.

Mike Pepler said...

Wow, what a beautiful moth! I don't think we get them in the UK. I got some nice pictures of other species when we had a moth trap and ID event last year though.

Mike

biobabbler said...

What a spec-TAC-ular creature! Thanks SO much for sharing that. Incredible. Lucky you! =) (ps yes, please DO chuck your guess my way re: super bright red/orange moth/butterfly I barely photographed).

Nature ID (Katie) said...

Thanks, Mike. I believe the painted tiger moth is only found in southwestern U.S. and into Mexico. The UK gets it fair share of beautiful moths.

bb, I always love your enthusiasm.

Jeannette said...

The egg pattern is a regular Rorschach exam...

Do you see a sea horse or a hundred little moths nibbling at your favorite....

Nature ID (Katie) said...

Funny, Jeannette. Did you see this other moth I posted: http://natureid.blogspot.com/2009/05/unknown-moth-it-sure-is-pretty.html

Nature ID (Katie) said...

Oh, and I see the operatic blue lady creature from The Fifth Element movie in the eggs.

wcbpolish said...

I'm currently raising a brood of A. picta that were sent to me by an acquaintance. As it is currently winter here in MN, finding foodplants has been interesting. Do you have a list of what you fed them, or a list of what yours did NOT feed on? Mine are currently growing on carrot, cilantro, and romaine lettuce. They have also fed on celery leaves, but refused kale and spinach.
Thanks!
Thomas
wcbpolish@gmail.com