Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

  Sighting 1208814

Cecropia silkmoth
Hyalophora cecropia

Observation date: June 08, 2019
Date notes: Moth was first seen June 8th around 4pm. It was still present in the morning of June 9th but had attracted a friend. A female emerged from the Chrysalis and overnight a male found her. When we woke up there were two.
Submitted by: Sandkbrassard@g...
Specimen type: Photograph
Observation notes: On the sunny afternoon of June 8th Steve and I were taking trash down the stairs. I was startled by what appeared to be the face of a snake hanging from my deck. We live in the middle of a wooded area and love nature. When I was able to get a better look we realized that it was a giant butterfly. The marking on its wings designed to look like a snake probably for defense purposes. Which worked! Cause it scared me. But after we identified that it was a butterfly and was hovering right near its chrysalis. We began taking pictures. Steve, in his spare time, is a professional photographer. I’m an amateur with a good camera and a lot of learning to do. We set up to take pictures of the single Moth and identified it on this site as a Giant Colombian Silk Moth. The pictures we have sent are ones used with cellphones. We have better that will follow. June 9th 2019 Steve woke first and went to check on our new arrival. He was shocked to find that not only was it still there but it had a friend. He took several more photos. At first thinking they had both come out of the same Chrysalis. Once I woke up and got close to them. I realized they were mating. The female who had emerged yesterday was very distinguished and easily recognized. The new arrival was male with long feather like antennas. The two had their bottoms attached. I assumed they were mating. We returned to the website and read about the life cycle of the Colombian Silk Moth. We realized that everything matched perfectly. The weather, the night temperatures. The only oddity was that it was under our deck not a tree or Bush. After the female emerged she sent out pheromones that tell a male she is ready to mate. The male finds her in the night and they begin their mating. These beautiful Moths, although live through multiple life cycles as a caterpillar over a period of about a year, once they turn into a moth they don’t eat (they have no mouths) and live only two weeks. We feel so privileged to have seen this spectacular species! For not only to it have make its metamorphosis on our deck but also to have called her mate. It’s now 11:16 on June 9th and both Colombian Silk Moths are still mating.
Status: Resident
Verified by: rogerdowner
Verified date: June 11, 2019
Coordinator notes: None.