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waltcesca

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    I was surprised when a sudden flapping and shadow darkened my porch. I looked around, expecting a bat and too my surprise, it was a moth! Yes, a Luna Moth, of the Mammoth sized moths! Anyway, here is what it looks like:

 


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MACJR

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Quote:
Originally Posted by waltcesca

    I was surprised when a sudden flapping and shadow darkened my porch. I looked around, expecting a bat and too my surprise, it was a moth! Yes, a Luna Moth, of the Mammoth sized moths! Anyway, here is what it looks like:

 

We have a mammoth sized moth up here too, but they seem to be extremely rare and look different. Even the caterpillar’s and the cocoons of these moths are huge. As big as they are, it is a wonder that I have only seen them a few times in my life.

 

I have seen the adult moths twice, one of the jumbo cocoons, and two variety of giant caterpillars. One of those giant caterpillars was odd looking and was of about the same color as that moth you show here, which makes me wonder if it was the larva of that type of moth.

 

The difference in the two types of giant caterpillars I have seen:

 

I was a young kid living in the southern Seattle, WA area when I seen the first giant caterpillar. I was walking with a girl and we met up with a couple of her friends, a couple boys who were in a small shed. They showed us the giant caterpillar they had found in there. I remember that it had short fur that was a brownish grey mix and maybe some red too, which are some of the same colors as the giant moth, which also had fine fur covering its wings. Anyway, this is if my memory serves me right - this was about 1969. That small shed is also where we found the cocoon, either at the same time or on a later visit, I do not remember which, but will go with a later visit. And, I will go with seeing the first adult moth sometime after that but in the same year.

 

The second and last time I seen this species of giant moth was about 1986 when I was visiting an aunt and uncle near Granite Falls, WA (about 50 miles north and a little east of Seattle).

 

I was out exploring an old roofless shed like building, which was next to a giant weeping willow tree, with a local girl in about 1973 when we found the second variety of giant caterpillar. This was in Dallesport, WA, which is just across the Columbia River from The Dalles, Oregon. This giant caterpillar looked much different that the first one I had seen. It was greenish and naked (no fur - but maybe some long hairs concentrated in tuffs at intervals, but I will not swear to those, just that mostly it was hairless and green), and had a large spike like point at its tail that made me wonder if it could sting like a scorpion. Just to be sure, I avoided touching it like it might be poisonous, well at first, curiosity did win in the end but I was careful and did not hold it long. I never saw the adult form of this caterpillar... until, maybe, now.

 

Thanks for the post Walt. 

 

 

MACJR


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MysticStar

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That moth looks really nice.  I didnt know there were very large moths

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Originally Posted by MysticStar

That moth looks really nice.  I didnt know there were very large moths

It looks like my memory was off a little bit on some of my descriptions... well, in my defense, it was a long time ago. 

 

Later, I will have some links up and revise my story to fit the facts.

 

My guess is, and now I seem to recall, I had seen the large pupa of one of these giant moths, then a few years later, seen that giant caterpillar. I did not see two caterpillars as my story claimed. Oops. It turns out that all the giant silk moths in my area have a green giant stage. I can find no matches for my first giant caterpillar description. My memory must have been giant-sizing one of the common, normal-sized, caterpillars around here.

 

I am still trying to nail down the best candidate for that giant green caterpillar’s species and think I am getting close.

 

Also, I may have only seen the giant moth once in my life. I now remember being excited when my uncle found that large moth because it completed the tree main stages for me. Caterpillar, pupa, and moth… but I seen them out of sequence, with the pupa first.

 

I have found pictures of the species of adult moth I did see. I will have those links in my next post

 

Anyway, until then, beware of The Giant Moths, they are out there!

 

Disclaimer – giant, in this case, is measured in inches or centimeters.  

 

Revised – I replaced the word cocoon with pupa. It was not the cocoon, but the pupa I was talking about. The pupa is the living creature inside the cocoon. The one I had seen had been removed from its cocoon. See what a little research will do to a person’s story.  Argh! 

 

 

MACJR


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