amazing butterly/moth in SF
We live in San Francisco, CA, and found this Butterfly/Moth had laid it’s eggs on the side of our building. Do you have any idea what it is? It’s body was approximately 4 inches in length, wingspan when outstretched approximately 6-7 inches. It was huge and gorgeous. Please see attached photos. Thanks for your help!
Josephine and Chris Tobin
Hi Josephine and Chris,
We suspect that someone is playing an April Fool’s Day joke on you or that you are playing one on us. The Cecropia Moth is a species found east of the Rocky Mountains. Since pupae are readily available, this could be an escapee from a neighbor that raises Giant Silk Moths. We seriously doubt it could have strayed into your area on its own. Did you see the unicorn on the Golden Gate Bridge?
my husband chris and i are amazed—-this is NO joke—–maybe an escapee, but definitely not a hoax. my son and i were retrieving our trash bins outside of our house on tuesday morning and he was the one who spotted it first! it sat perched on our front steps for almost 6 hours or so, and in fact dropped five eggs (which you might have seen in the photo, too), which are still there (but don’t seem to be growing). we watched it for a long time….it was moving, opening and closing it’s wings, moving it’s position by a few inches, and ultimately, flew away. we want to know if there’s anything we can do to save the eggs. believe me, lots of people stopped on the sidewalk in disbelief—–it was giant and exquisitely beautiful. i can send more pics if you want—-but it is just nice to know what it was. thanks for your help—and no, i didn’t see the unicorn:) best,
Thanks for the update Josephine. We believe this must be an escapee then. The eggs might be fertile if she encountered a male moth before taking flight, but adult female Saturnids are full of eggs and will lay infertile eggs if they don’t mate.