Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Buried Treasure

In the previous post you may have noticed the purple object in the "second front" image. Below is another image of that object.

It is a small aquaria which was a temporary holding tank for the object in the image below.

While de-turfing the area I dug this cocoon up. It was not more than two inches below the surface. Patty suggested we put it in the aquaria, cover it with dirt, and then but it in the ground as shown in the images, to closely mimic the conditions as it was found. We didn't know what it was, so by having it in the tank we would see it once it emerged.

At the same time, I emailed images to some friends who are month and insect aficionados in the hope that they could identify the species which produced this cocoon. I was not disappointed.

It is the little tail at the right end of the cocoon which gives it away.

It is an Imperial Moth, like the two shown below (both images were taken in our yard).

The image above is a male and that below a female.

As we've identified the month to be there was no longer any need to keep the cocoon in the tank. So it has been returned to the ground close to where I found it.

Imperial Moths are active from May to July. Hopefully we see this one fluttering around our yard.

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