Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Fairyfly females are larger than male fairyflies and are also much better at flying than the males. Many species swim submerged under the water using their wings as paddles.
Mating and egg laying may also occur underwater. An individual of these genera of fairyflies can stay underwater for up to 15 days. To exit the water, they climb onto a the stem of a plant that breaks the surface.
Well I'll be damned. I wonder how they do this? Again I wish there wasn't so little on them.
The rest of the info is here: Clicky
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
More moon moth hybrids. Seriously this is crazy in a good way.
A. luna x G. isabellae ( bottom )
A. maenas x A. luna
G. isabellae x A. dubernardi ( top )
Well for now this is the end. But hopefully something turns up on the species I also wanted to mention within the coming years so I can continue the series.
The species I wanted to mention have practically nothing on them.
....and so on. I hope that one day that will change. I'll post photos later.
Friday, April 23, 2010
This is shocking beyond all reason.
I didn't even think this was possible.
This is G. isabellae x A. truncatipennis and it's gorgeous.
What I'd like to know is exactly how this is done. I want every little detail and I promise I'll ask around about this and see if anyone knows anything.
These things just got even more beautiful. Who would've thought....
.......who would've thought that crossing 2 different species of moon moths would get such a beautiful result. Oh and there's more! You didn't think there was more did you?
The rest are here. For now this is the end of this little series of mine.
Hopefully more info on the species I wanted to mention will come up with time. Nevertheless I'll keep searching and will inform you of anything that I find.
Expect more photos.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
So without further ado the info:
At the end of April and beginning of May the moth begins to hatch after overwintering in the cocoon. Normally moths from the same line don't copulate, so it is the condition that different lines are in a not too wide range.
After copulation the female lays about 100 to 150 eggs on the favored foodplant, pines. The larva hatch after 1 to 1.5 weeks a still begin to eat from the very hard pine needles. It takes about 1.5 month to see the last instar of the caterpillars.
In the last instar the caterpillars go down from the tree to pupate under leaves on the ground. In this phase the pupae in the cocoon overwinters until next springtime.
So once again Wikipedia provides. As for the link in the other less satisfactory post made a million years ago there's a link with some rather substantial info.
I'll have to check if it's still up. I certainly hope so as I would like to post some things here from there. There'll be more to come.
Lots of the Moon moth I wanted to mention don't have a lot of information to their names.
This is most unfortunate but to be expected.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Now I'm also pretty sure that there's folklore ( as I mentioned earlier ) on these but I'm going to have go and look it up. For now we get "down and dirty" on the life of these beauties. Although there's nothing dirty about them.
As you know Luna moths and Moon moths in general don't live long ( which is a shame ) but during the time that they are here they're solely focused on one thing: Reproducing.
Wikipedia ( again :P ) goes into it more. Enjoy!
Based on the climate in which they live, the Luna Moths produce differing numbers of generations. In Canada and northern regions, they can live up to 7 days and will produce only one generation per year. These reach adulthood from early June to early July.
In the northeastern United Sates around New Jersey or New York, the moths produce two generations each year. The first of these appear in April and May, and the second group can be seen approximately nine to eleven weeks later. In the southern United States, there can be as many as three generations. These are spaced every eight to ten weeks beginning in March.
Female Luna Moths lay 100–300 eggs, 4–7 eggs at a time, on the underside of leaves, and they incubate for eight to thirteen days. The moths will lay more eggs in a favorable climate.
Each instar generally takes about five days to a week to complete. After hatching, the caterpillars tend to wander around before finally settling on eating the particular plant they are on. These caterpillars tend to be gregarious for the first two to three instars, but separate and live independently after that.
As with all Saturniids, these caterpillars go through five instars before cocooning. At the end of each instar, a small amount of silk is placed on the major vein of a leaf and undergoes apolysis. The caterpillar then undergoes ecdysis, or molts from that position leaving the old exoskeleton behind. Sometimes the shed exoskeleton is eaten. Each instar is green, though the first two instars do have some variation in which some caterpillars will have black underlying splotches on their dorsal side. Variation after the second instar is still noticeable, but slight.
The dots that run along the dorsal side of the caterpillars vary from a light yellow to a dark magenta. The final instar grows to approximately nine centimeters in length.
The Luna Moth pupates after spinning a cocoon. The cocoon is thin and single layered. Shortly before pupation, the final, fifth instar caterpillar will engage in a "gut dump" where any excess water and fluids are expelled.
The caterpillar will also have an underlying golden reddish brown color and become somewhat immobile. As pupa, this species is particularly active. When disturbed, the moth will wiggle loudly. Pupation takes approximately two weeks unless the individual is diapuasing. The mechanisms for diapause are generally a mixture of genetic triggers, duration of sunlight or direct light during the day, and temperature.
Adults enclose, or emerge from their cocoons in the morning. Their wings are very small when they first emerge and they must enlarge them by pumping bodily fluids through them. During this time, their wings will be soft and they must climb somewhere safe to wait for their wings to harden before they can fly away. This process takes about 2 hours to complete.
The Luna Moth has a wingspan of 8–11.5 cm (3.1–4.5 in) with long, tapering hindwings, which have eyespots on them in order to confuse potential predators. Although rarely seen due to their very brief (1 week) adult lives, Luna Moths are considered common.
As with all Saturniidae, the adults do not eat or have mouths. They emerge as adults solely to mate, and as such, only live approximately one week. They are more commonly seen at night.
Perhaps this is why I haven't seen them. I know that in order to do so I'd have to go to the Bronx Zoo Butterfly Exhibit but I don't think I'll be able to go......but I hope by some miracle that I'll get to go and I get to see one.
Because I know that I won't see one around here. There might be some in Central park though. If I go anytime soon I'll keep my eyes open.
Since this is a long enough post already I'll make what ever folklore I find on them a separate post. So until next time!
I don't think this series is quite over just yet. Let's see what else I find.
Monday, April 19, 2010
I swear if I ever see one I'll be prepared with a camera and a video camera. As in I'll take them with me on every butterfly house trip that I go to.
And I plant to go to quite a few.
The Comet moth (Argema mittrei) is an African moon moth, a large wild silk moth found only in the wild in certain parts of Madagascar but able to breed in captivity. In Madagascar are a few breeding areas and there are a few zoos that attempt breeding too. Some of them are quite successful.
The Madagascan Comet Moth is one of the world's biggest moth, the male has a wing span of twenty centimeters and a tail span of fifteen centimeters. As a Moth they only live for 4 to 5 days and they are only fertile the first day after getting out of the cocoon. The cocoon has holes in it to keep the future moth from drowning in its rainforest climate.
As a caterpillar they feed on eucalyptus leaves (only fresh ones, which makes it harder to breed them in captivity) and grow to a reasonable size before getting in the cocoon. They stay in there for about two to six months depending on the climate.Makes you wonder how they breed at all if they're only fertile on the first day after emergence.
God bless them. And as a bonus you get a nice video of one:
They need to vibrate in order to warm up so they can fly. Being cold blooded they need to warm up first before flying.
I find these things gorgeous. I love them. Anyone who gets to see one let alone hold one is lucky.
I envy you all. Hopefully someday I can join you.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
But until then I'll be left fantasizing about these gorgeous moths.
The one in the photo is Argema mimosae The African Moon Moth:
The African moon moth (Argema mimosae) is a giant silk moth of the Family Saturniidae. Similar in appearance to the Giant Madagascan Moon Moth (Argema mittrei), but smaller, this moth can be found near the east coast of South Africa.
An adult can measure 10-12 centimeters across its wingspan, and 12-14 centimeters from head to the tip of its elongated 'tail-like' second pair of wings. Its forward wings have a distinctive grey-colored 'furry' leading edge, giving a very rough surface, presumably for aerodynamic reasons.
Apart from the eye-like markings on its wings, the colouring and shape of the wings give the appearance of a piece of foliage, especially the 'tail-like' structures of the rearmost wings which resemble a dried out leaf stem - presumably for camouflage in its natural environment.
So now you know something about them. Should anymore info choose to reveal itself I will post it here. I'd like to know more about them myself.
Next up is Argema mittrei ( obviously ).
Saturday, April 17, 2010
The Chinese Moon Moth or Chinese Luna Moth ( Actias dubernardi ) is another example of why I love this genius ( and Moon Moths in general ).
They're absolutely gorgeous. Now before you go and say "Why are they're 2 different moths in this post?" I'll get to that. Apparently lots of Actias sp. are sexually dimorphic. I never knew that. I thought that they were all similar in appearance.
But once again I feel the need to stress my little "motto" when it comes to these things.
"Never assume anything about the insect & spider world you just might be proven wrong "
- Me :P
It's true though. And most of the times you WILL be wrong.
Wikipedia once again provides ( it is my main source for additional info ):
The Life Cycle of Actias dubernardi:
It takes 70-85 days from an egg to the adult, depending on the temperature and humidity conditions.
Female lays up to 120 eggs, she doesn't care about the place of ovaposit. The egg is oval-shaped, 1,5mm x 1mm; whitegrey colour, firmly stuck to branches or sides of the cage that the female had been kept in. 4-5mm long caterpillars hatch after 10-14 eggs, the warmer and the higher the humidity, the quicker it happens.
Newly hatched larva is of black colour with hairs, it sheds its skin 4-5 times in its larval stage. Until the second instar it is orangebrown, after which it changes into beautiful green with silver spots. It is hairy in all its stages, and it feeds on pine tree. Fully-grown caterpillar is 60-75mm long.
It spins its brownish cocoon on the soil, but more often among pine needles. They are easy to rear, so long as you can get them to eat in the 1st instar. The species comes from high mountaineous regions, so it is quite cold-hardy. It is best reared in-doors, sleeved on a small pine-tree.
The chrystalis is about 35mm long,and the imago emerges from the cocoon after about 4 weeks, dependant on the temperature and humidity.
An adult moth's life is short, no longer than 10 - 12 days (females live longer due to their fat reserves). Pairing is easy, in medium-sized cage.
There you go. Another thing is that these moths don't live long. This holds true for all Moon moths ( and all other Saturniids if I'm not mistaken ) due to the fact that the adults lack mouth parts.
How do they survive for even that long? Well they're living off the fat and energy stored up when they were caterpillars.
Another reason why caterpillars in general eat so much. :P
Friday, April 16, 2010
The Indian Moon Moth Actias selene is Drop. Dead. Gorgeous.
All Actias species are Drop. Dead. Gorgeous.
They are some of my favorite moths and I would love to see even one in person someday. You see in the category of entomology it's my dream to see/hold one of these or ANY of the Actias moths.
The Luna moth A. luna is also on my "Must have/see/hold before I die" list because as I said in terms of my dreams in the category of entomology I want to see one of these.
I don't care what species it is. But I want to see one. The Luna moth is one of my favorites since forever.
So enough with rambling and on with the info:
The Indian Moon Moth or Indian Luna Moth (Actias selene) is a species of moth. This species is popular among amateur entomologists and is often reared from eggs or cocoons that are available from commercial sources. They are also known to fly mainly at night.
This moth is quite widespread, found from India to Japan and then south into Nepal, Ceylon, Borneo, and other islands in eastern Asia. Many subspecies live in Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Phillippines, Russia, China, Java, Sri Lanka, Sumatra and Borneo.
This entry is dedicated to the lovely Selena. We love you.
And no this isn't a coincidence that moth's scientific name is Actias selene. There's a reason I sought this one out you know....^_~
Until next time folks! Enjoy!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I completely forgot about these. Even though they're not in the genus Actias they still deserve their own little spot in this little series of mine which will make it even longer then I had anticipated.
YAY! So while looking around I came across these:
Argema mimosae ( Photo )
And I'll be bringing you info. For now that is all. *Is very happy*
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
PDF: Clicky! Has some nice lengthily info
Apparently these things are secretive about there lives. The fact that anything was found out about them is a miracle IMO.
So I'm happy I was able to dig up something. The God of insects confirms my above statement.
Actias maenas, also known as Actias leto, can be found from north-central India east to Malaysia and from there it ranges south to Borneo. The subspecies A. maenas diana can be found in Sumatra and Bali.
Actias maenas is quite variable in coloration throughout its range. In addition, the females have much shorter tails and fewer markings, making them look like a different species. In the wild, larvae feed on the foliage of Averrhoa, Schima, Adinandra, Canarium, and Turpina but have been reared in captivity on many other species, including Cider Gum (Eucalyptus Gunnii) and Cucumber Tree (Magnolia acuminata). This huge moth prefers lowland forests and is not easy to find.
- God of Insects
Sorry for the bad English on this one I had to correct somethings ( no offense to the writer ). I will also look into the subspecies.
Hopefully find a picture or two. Until next time!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
These are some of my favorite moths. I love them so I decided to dedicate this little series to them. I've always found Luna moths ( Actias luna ) magical and drop dead gorgeous.
Add to the fact that I've never even seen one and it makes all the more intriguing.
I had found a source that sells Luna moth cocoons but I don't know if I can get them now because unfortunately my mom doesn't have her credit card anymore....
That's one of my dreams. To see at least one luna moth and hold it ( hopefully ).
But enough with the sentimental fantasy crap. This is what I hope to accomplish:
- To show you that there's more then one "Luna Moth"
- Give you info on different species
- Prove that they all don't have similar life cycles
- Reveal "shocking" information ( if there's any )
- Educate you on these beautiful moths
As for how long this "series" is.....I can't tell you because they're quite a few species but who knows how much is known about them.
Most likely very little but I'll try and find anything I can.
Species That WILL Be Mentioned:
Actias luna ( duh! )
All the other ones I have in mind I have to research first.
Monday, April 12, 2010
They made me happy! YAY! :P Lets get on with it!
♥ Numerous cabbage white butterflies
♥ 2-4 ants
♥ 1 millipede
♥ 1 pill bug
♥ 1 gnat ( I think it was a gnat, must check )
♥ 1 strange jumping bug
♥ 1 winged aphid like bug ( it probably was an aphid of sorts...)
♥ 1 honey bee
There might be more that I'm forgetting but oh well...XD
I also found a tiny spider in my house yesterday in the bathroom....awesome.
About time I had one in the house It's been too long.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
You see this? This is Lonomia obliqua and it and all the other Lonomia species can kill you. Oh and you thought that this was your "average spiny harmless" caterpillar?
Ha! Hell no.
These things can and will kill you. Although death from these things apparently isn't common or frequent ( thank God ) I wouldn't take my chances with them.
Will you ever see them? Most likely no. But if you go to Brazil........
Lonomia sp. is responsible for the following:
1. Massive internal bleeding
2. Kidney failure ( which means you die )
And you thought the horror story couldn't get any worse? It just did.
The genus Lonomia is a moderate-sized group of fairly cryptic saturniid moths from South America, famous not for the adults, but for their amazingly venomous caterpillars, which are responsible for a few deaths each year, especially in southern Brazil, and the subject of hundreds of published medical studies.
The caterpillars are themselves extremely cryptic, blending in against the bark of trees, where the larvae commonly aggregate. The larvae, like most hemileucines, are covered with urticating hairs, but these caterpillars possess a uniquely potent anitcoagulant venom.
A typical envenomation incident involves a person unknowingly leaning against, placing their hand on, or rubbing their arm against a group of these caterpillars that are gathered on the trunk of a tree. The effects of a dose from multiple caterpillars can be dramatic and severe, including massive internal hemorrhaging, renal failure, and hemolysis. The resulting medical syndrome is sometimes called Lonomiasis.
Wikipedia has told all. But there is one more thing......
The following link has graphic photos of what happens when you touch one of these things.
Plus they go into detail about what happens.....just as graphic
Not for faint hearted.
You have been warned......CLICKY!
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Giant Isopod....damn! Yes this is real! Do you think I'd be posting this if it weren't?
Looks kinda sinister.....I feel sorry for the person who took this photo.....chances are they're not with us any more...*sniff*
This thing probably proceeded to devour the person on the spot....it seems likely does it not?
I mean look at the thing! It can't possibly NOT endanger our lives....
Apparently the things have no taste in humans whatsoever.....thank God look:
Although generalist scavengers, these isopods are mostly carnivorous and feed on dead whales, fish, and squid; they may also be active predators of slow-moving prey such as sea cucumbers, sponges, radiolarians, nematodes, and other zoobenthos, and perhaps even live fish.
They are known to attack trawl catches. As food is scarce in the deep ocean biome, giant isopods must make do with what fortune brings; they are adapted to long periods of famine and have been known to survive over eight weeks without food in the aquariums of irresponsible owners.
So no need to worry I think we're safe for now...:P
Info from Wikipedia. Have a looksie here for more. Good day!
Friday, April 09, 2010
Thursday, April 08, 2010
While researching Giant Isopods I came across some true beauties that I had no clue even existed. As you can see from the 2 examples the isopod world is more colorful then we give them credit for.
I think the striped one is a pill millipede ( that's for another post ) but enjoy the colors! You also get info with link provided below!
Seeing this makes me love them even more!
Some More! ( includes more photos )
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Monday, April 05, 2010
♥ 10+ Cabbage White Butterflies
♥ A Bunch of Pill Bugs
♥ 1 Ant
♥ 1 Centipede ( I believe it was a stone or garden centipede )
♥ 3- 4 Honey Bees ( Thank God )
♥ Lots of Carpenter Bees
The fact that I saw honey bees at all was miracle but the fact that I saw more then one is Idk what to call it, but I had tears in my eyes because it made me think that there was hope for our VERY important fuzzy friends.
I'm glad that I saw them because it was technically in the wild they weren't put there. So I thank God that they're still kicking in places.
God help them please! We need our honey bees!
Sunday, April 04, 2010
Saturday, April 03, 2010
.....Oh you think I'm making this up? Hell no.
You wish I were making it up. But enough on that. What I would like to know is what prompted entomologists to give it such a sinister and downright evil name?
I mean I know that the diet of the bee fly is evil ( I did a post on it ) but there must be something different about this one for them to give it such a name.
Unfortunately there's not much on them.
As with all bee flies it seems ( except Bombylius major ) there's nothing on them. Apparently they all want to keep their lives a secret......why?
The same holds true for Satan's little creation here......but one thing seems to be the same with all of them.....they're parasites. Some of the most sinister may I add that I've ever heard of.
Read this and you'll see why.....poor bees.... :(
And you though they were all "cute and harmless". Hell no. So back to my little rant. There must be something that this one does that's downright evil....more evil then the rest of them to name it after the devil. Exactly what that is I have no clue.
But I plan to find out. I'm going to go and ask around to see if there's anything different about this one's life cycle for it to have the "honor" of it being named after Satan himself.
Beeflies are called "beeflies" for 2 reasons:
1. They mimic bees ( duh )
2. The prey on bee larvae as larvae themselves ( see pdf )*
* Some species have specific species of bees that they prey on.....others are not as picky.
Expect more. I'll be doing some research on Satan's henchmen of the bug world.
But they are cute.....I'll give them that.
Friday, April 02, 2010
I love them. I'll do more on them tomorrow or something but it's late and I need sleep. In the mean time enjoy this one in the photo.
I have no idea what species this one is but I'll ask around and try to find out.
I want put a name to this cutie pie. ^_^