I got a ladder out at 1 am and climbed into a tree to get this fat sausage who keeps his arms completely retracted into his neck???
Vine Sphinx moth caterpillar
July 5, 2018 (3 am…)
I set up a nice viney enclosure for the fat sausage. You see the vine he’s on? He stripped it completely bare. When I came back to check on him later, he had managed to break the vine loose from the attachment (so fat!) and was just helplessly dangling on his barren vine.
I found more (different) caterpillars on some possum grape vines I intended to feed him, and found a BUNCH of eggs. My bet is they are more vine sphinx eggs. !!!
Above: the other babies (they look like grapeleaf skeletonizer moths, but there’s a second species that looks identical until adulthood)
Above: Vine Sphinx egg?!
July 6, 2018
Looks like my profile pic!
Hello @viral-inflection! Your profile pic is a Polyphemus Moth caterpillar! They are a type of silk moth (not closely related to sphinx moths), and they are also VERY large.
This bab turns into:
A beautiful large boy 😭
August 8, 2018
Holy hell! I didn’t know we had moths that beautiful where I live! I just saw it one day and took some pictures. Hope it grew up big and strong and had lots of babies!
Congratulations! The first one I ever saw flew past me while I was riding my bike at night. I thought it was a bat at first! They are pretty widespread. Here is the map of where people have seen them and uploaded them to iNaturalist [link]:
And that is just for one species! There are many more moths in the same family (Saturniidae), which includes Luna moths and Io moths. Here is where you can expect to find Saturniids in North America (again, based on iNaturalist uploads)[link]:
Keep in mind, each red dot is where somebody saw a moth, took a photo, and then uploaded to iNaturalist with location data. Any blank spots on the map may just be places where people don’t use iNaturalist as frequently, and there may still be plenty of moths around!
Just keep looking, and you’ll find them eventually 😀
And what is this iNat thing, anyway? It’s awesome. I’m this nutjob [link to profile](50 observations away from #15,000!). If anyone reading this is interested in contributing, either by adding photos, doing IDs for other people, or both, send me a message over there and I can help you get started!
Also, they have a tumblr! @inaturalist
August 8, 2018
Oh damn, I live in southern Alberta Canada, only a few people have seen it around there.
Nice! I was in Calgary a couple weeks ago and there were SO MANY BUMBLEBEES AND DRAGONFLIES! Someday I’ll catch up editing photos and I can post those ones 😂
Honestly, seeing a big fat dragonfly or a dainty little damselfly brightens up my day considerably.
You’re neat, I’m following now.
Awww thanks! Please accept these Texan buttheads:
Top left: Thornbush Dasher Top right: Common Whitetail
Bottom left: Eastern Amberwing Bottom right: Great Spreadwings