Before bed [last night] I saw this Imperial Moth clinging to our window. What a nice surprise!
Taken from inside of the house.
I didn't know if he would fly away when I opened the door.
The Imperial Moth is perhaps the only example of such a creature as a character in a novel. Naturalist Gene Stratton Porter's "Girl Of The Limberlost" features imperialis prominently in the plot development, and her account of its life history in "Moths Of The Limberlost" (a chronicle of her discovery of lepidoptera in early 20th Century rural Indiana) captures not just the science but the charm of the giant silk moths and childhood discovery of nature.
Sexual dimorphism is present in this species and all of Saturniidae :-
- The males are generally smaller and show larger patches of purple.
- The females are generally larger, mostly from carrying eggs, and are more yellow.
- The antenna of the male is fibrous.
- The females rear end is slightly bigger.
Larvae feast on a variety of host plants including:
- Quercus (Oak)
- Acer (Maple)
- Liquidambar styraciflua (American Sweetgum)
- Sassafras albidum (Sassafras)
- Pinus (Pine)
Darker, heavily mottled individuals are typical forms of the southern and western range and may represent a clinal variation of nominate imperialis. Subspecies pini to the north, and sibling species Eacles oslari to the southwest exhibit similar morphs. Regional foodplant preferences have been noted as well, although captive-bred populations from all sources are nearly omnivorous. There is a high amount of variation within this species. The colors of the adult are always yellow and purple but can vary distinctly on this. Generally there is more purple on the forewing and more purple on males. However, one subspecies tends to have a distinct coating of purple over the entire wings.
Wednesday morning began with rain after I washed all our windows yesterday.
Maybe if there's a break in the weather we'll be able to go out and run the deck.
Wishing everyone a nice day.