We squirrels don’t see these insects too often.
That’s a hint! Give me a guess if you know what this is.
We squirrels are daytime animals, this insect–a moth–comes out at night. All moths have feathery antennae, which they use to sense the scent of potential mates. We squirrels do not have noses that good! This Cecropia Moth can ‘smell’ a mate a mile away. And pretty much that’s all these moths do! They are the largest moths native to North America and they only live two weeks, doing little more than search for a mate, lay eggs and die.
I’m twitching my tail over that. It doesn’t sound like much of a life compared to the fun Nutmeg and I have racing through the treetops.
This all happens in the spring–you won’t see Cecropia Moths around this time of year. I have to admit I’ve had this mystery in my leaf nest for a few months. The baby caterpillars spend the summer growing into huge caterpillars that winter over in large cocoons.
Like I said, we squirrels don’t see many of these moths, so I don’t remember others to compare it with. But this is a fairly large antennae on this one, and the males are supposed to have the larger antennae.
Let us know if you see any large caterpillars this fall!