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 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.