Location: Southren WI
May 29, 2011 9:35 am
My Daughter found this in the woods behind our house (southren WI). She is a bug nut and asked me what it was. We have looked in several books but can’t figure it out. Its alive and moving and the topic of all talk at our house. We would love to know what it is.
Signature: Michael Roehl
This is definitely a Moth Pupa and it is a large moth. We do not believe it is a Sphinx Moth Pupa, though they bury themselves underground to pupate. We are more inclined to identify this as a Giant Silkmoth Pupa, more specifically a Royal Moth Pupa in the subfamily Ceratocampinae, possibly an Imperial Moth or a Regal Moth. Here is a matching photo of an unidentified Royal Moth pupa from BugGuide for comparison. Here is a photo of an Imperial Moth Pupa from BugGuide and here is a photo of a Regal Moth Pupa from BugGuide. You can see the similarities, though our inclination is to favor the Imperial Moth. We love your photograph, especially the thoughtfulness of having the model change into an insect themed wardrobe.
Thanks so much for taking the time to help us out. My daughter is thrilled, who new you could have so much fun with a pupa. We have it in a “Critter Cage” if it hatches sucsessfully I will send you a picture.