Monday, July 18, 2011

Giant Leopard Moth

I was walking through the parking lot at work when I noticed something on the curb that I first thought was a piece of paper with lettering on it. When I moved in closer to take a look, I saw that it was a moth - an enormous moth. Since I always carry a camera with me (in this case, I had the small Panasonic FP8), I took some quick snapshots and went home to look up this behemoth.

It turns out that this is a Giant Leopard Moth (or some parts of the South call it an Eyed Tiger Moth) which has a wing span of over three inches. It is only found on the east coast of the US and its caterpillar is one of the "Woolly Worm" types. Old-timers here in North Carolina believe you can predict the upcoming winter's snowstorms and cold by the bands on the wooly worm. We even have a Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk near Boone every fall.

Considering how this summer has been so far with 25 days over 90F and several days recently with heat indexes above 105F, my hope is just for a cooler fall much less a snowy winter.


frayedattheedge said...

It looks like something from a sci-fi film - an alien species intent on taking over the earth!!

Karen said...

Anne: I was certainly taken aback by it. And my mother who saw the photo thought the shadow was that of a bird, it was so big.

Dartford Warbler said...

What amazing markings. It would be good to see one with its wings spread, although preferably not inside a small room with the light on!

Karen said...

DW: If I weren't so squeamish, I would have picked it up. According to Wikipedia, the male has blue and orange markings on its underside.