Wednesday, April 06, 2005

ENV: Surprise at the window

This morning about 5 a.m. (working late/early) there was a banging at my office window. I was surprised to find a Cecropia moth doing the honors. It was the first i've seen in my nearly 20 years in Kerr County (and i go looking for moths and things -- for those who don't get why it might be special). Indeed it's been longer than that since i've seen a live one anywhere.

According to the Moths of North America site of the USGS there are previous Kerr County records but this is the farthest west in Texas that it's been recorded (and i don't know the update status of this site currently, but i think Ray Stanford has been keeping the leps pretty close). It has been recorded more westerly in the mid to northern Great Plains and there are a couple of stray records, including one from Washington.

This poor guy was bit banged up, but i left it hanging on the rock wall after getting a few photos. I'll recover the specimen if it doesn't make it.

Below it are photos of another moth, a little over an inch that was hanging on the screen nearby.

Hyalophora cecropia

Walnut Sphinx, Amorpha (Cressonia/Laothoe) juglandis
(thanks to Mike Quinn for his comments on this ID)


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