Spectacular Moth… But What is It?
My family loves your site, especially since we move often and recently moved to southern California. My four young kids have discovered all sorts of new bugs here – and I was so grateful to have discovered a potato bug on your site – the first one my children brought me had me more worried than the scorpions and black widows we routinely encountered in AZ.
This morning, this lovely moth was relaxing in our front entry. My husband thought he was a polyhemus, but he has white swoosh-shaped markings on his wings where a polyhemus has golden eyes. He was easily 5 inches wingtip to wingtip, with the thick fringe antennae of a polyhemus, and a furry brown and white striped body, very furry legs. What the heck is he?
We’ve let him go in a backyard tree and hope he procreates and becomes a regular site. We live in De Luz, California, sandwiched between the coastal climate of North San Diego County and the dry wine country valleys of Temecula and are hoping that this lovely creature is a native and likely to be seen again.
Thank you for the nice letter. We are very happy to post your photos of the Ceanothus Silk Moth, Hyalophora euryalus, one of the Saturnid Moths. This truly spectacular moth is native and the caterpillar feeds on the Ceanothus Tree, or California Lilac. The adults do not feed.