Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Moths of the 2011 Festival of Butterflies

I hope you got to see the phenomenal moths of this year's Festival of Butterflies. Here's a quick overview in case you missed them and we hope to have them back again next year.

Rothschild's Silkmoth (Rothschildia lebeau) from Costa Rica was spectacular with its four windowed wings and pink frosting hi-lights.

The Luna Moth (Actias luna) (left) from North America and the African Moon Moth (Argema mimosae) from Africa were both in good view in our display. Yes they are related and similar species of "moon" or "comet" moths occur around the world and among the favorite of all moths. Luna Moth was hands down the favorite native moth by those viewing our native moth collections in the Caterpillar Experience.

The stars of the Conservatory Display were the HUGE female Atlas Moths (Attacus atlas) which had wingspans of 12". I never did capture the astounded faces of visitors seeing this huge moth for the first time! The female has larger wings to transport it larger body full of 100's of eggs for the next generation.

The male Atlas Moths were much smaller with more elongated wingtips -- the wingtips apparently look like snake heads as a defense against predators. This Atlas Moth had a particularly rich cherry brown coloration.

We hope you plan to attend 2012's Festival of Butterflies and see these phenomenal moths in person next year.

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