Subject: I swear I didn’t kill it, despite the flyswatter in the photo!
Location: New Orleans, LA
November 21, 2012 9:56 pm
I found what I assume is a moth of some sort ALREADY DEAD on my patio 11/21/12. The flyswatter was used to transport it into the light so I wouldn’t crush it with a paper towel.
It was in the mid 60’s when I found it after being in the upper 60’s most of the day. It definitely wasn’t there the night before.
I put it next to a cd for size comparison and also included a closeup of the body and then also the wings.
We were away from the office for Thanksgiving and we are just catching up on some old identification requests and posting the best of them. This is a Buck Moth, a species we featured in October. Buck Moths do not feed as adults and they only live for about a week. We are quite certain this individual died of natural causes.
Thank you so much for the identification and for the ‘not guilty’ verdict!
I’m relatively new to this particular area and had not seen such a large bodied moth anywhere before, unless they were introduced during one of the many times that I covered my eyes while touring the Audubon Insectarium!
I’m now pretty sure that I saw the caterpillar version also on my patio a few weeks back and fortunately had sense enough to steer clear of its threatening spines.
My father will be pleased to know that y’all were able to help me, as it was his suggestion to contact you. I was a bit concerned that I could have an impending invasion of moth aliens and his initial identification of “big freaking moth” was not exactly helpful in calming my worries.
Since the caterpillars of the Buck Moth are social feeders, we would imagine that there could possibly be years with significant adult moth populations.