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Strange Insects

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Strange Insects

Postby Savannah_Alan » Mon 24 Apr 2006 01:48 GMT

I didn't get a chance to get out for my usual weekend photo jaunt this week, but did spot a couple of quite strange creatures on my deck!

Any entomologists amongst us?
(All images are clickable for larger version)
Image

And in greater detail:
Image

Image

Image

And finally, this little fella was very weird :shock: It was about 3/4 inch long and I obviously thought it was just a twig, until it moved off with a bizarre walk where it put one end on the ground, doubled itself up by dragging the back end until it met the front, then reach forward with the other end again... When it saw me move it "froze" like a twig again :D .
We've sure got some strange bugs!
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Last edited by Savannah_Alan on Mon 24 Apr 2006 04:08 GMT, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Dave » Mon 24 Apr 2006 03:15 GMT

Wow! :shock:

From the fronded antennae, the top one looks like some kind of moth - butterflies have club-tipped antennae, I think. Beyond that, I'm stumped!

I wonder if the "twig" is some kind of caterpillar?

Great photos, anyway!
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Postby Trev » Mon 24 Apr 2006 06:28 GMT

Great photographs Alan, think it is probably a Luna moth (Actias luna), more details in the link

http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/lepid/moths/ga/942.htm

You might find this site useful as well -

http://www.daltonstate.edu/galeps/
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Postby Savannah_Alan » Mon 24 Apr 2006 06:51 GMT

Thanks Trev. That's exactly what it was. On the "further images" link, there was picture which very clearly is the same thing:

http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/dist ... mor942.htm

Thanks for finding that. :D

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Postby Kay » Mon 24 Apr 2006 08:38 GMT

Very interesting! :D
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Postby nooranismith » Thu 27 Apr 2006 08:50 GMT

Isn't it exquisite.

btw it is a male (a virtual drink for you if you know how I know).
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Postby Savannah_Alan » Thu 27 Apr 2006 17:09 GMT

nooranismith wrote:Isn't it exquisite.

btw it is a male (a virtual drink for you if you know how I know).
Ron


mmm, I feel like I should, but I don't how you know it's a male. I'll have to have a virtual coke instead :cry: .

Alan.

BTW, it stayed on my wall for over 24 hours and suddenly came back to life yesterday and took off. I understand that they don't have any feeding apparatus as adults, so would imagine they don't live very long.
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Postby nooranismith » Tue 2 May 2006 07:50 GMT

Virtual coke instead of a virtual drink? You have picked up bad habits...as long as it is virtual, no harm no foul I suppose. (Bad jokes like this get up your nose don't they. Sniff.).

Anyway, the feathery antennae give it away. On the females the antennae are much thinner. The males have far larger and feathery antennae in order to detect pheromeones from the female - sometimes from 10s of miles away. Male moths are often found in quite conspicuous areas in Spring risking life and limb to gain a good vantage point for picking up the trail. No well signposted singles bar for them.
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Postby Savannah_Alan » Tue 2 May 2006 15:13 GMT

OK, I should have said virtual cola then :lol: . Oh, bugger, I'll have a guinness...

That's fascinating info there Ron. Do you know how long this fella would expect to live?

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Postby nooranismith » Thu 4 May 2006 08:23 GMT

No idea off hand. I'm sure there's info about this species on the net. Most moth species only live for a single season but there are some that overwinter and can live for 2 or 3. Generally though they are just vehicles for the genes to pass into the next generation (as we all are I suppose - just our season is a little longer). Some moths don't even have mouthpieces and so can't feed - they live thier lives as grubs, feeding and growing before blossoming and spent thier brief airborne existence doing nothing but pursuing reproduction. I feel there is something wonderfully spiritually tantric about the whole thing.
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Postby Savannah_Alan » Thu 4 May 2006 17:30 GMT

A quick ask.com search revealed some info. Apparently he would expect to live for about a week. This makes it a rare find in the wild (although they are quite prevalent on the East coast of North America, they're hard to spot because of the short life-span).
This means that this guy spent over a quarter of his life sitting on my window :shock: . And I think I'm guilty of wasting time :wink:

http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/johnson/hort/B ... naMoth.htm
http://www.ivyhall.district96.k12.il.us ... /luna.html

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Postby Savannah_Alan » Fri 5 May 2006 05:14 GMT

I've had visitors again. Funny enough, these pair were hanging out exactly in the same place as the one above. I'm not sure why I'm being honoured so, but I'll take it :) . Some funky hair-do's there though.

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Any idea what these new visitors are?

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Postby Mojan » Fri 5 May 2006 07:06 GMT

My,you certainly have some interesting insect life over there Alan. :lol:

I just love the way these two seem to be nestling up together all lovey dovey, with their blonde wigs and matching pink capes.

Mind you, I would hate one of these to fall into my bath. Have you noticed how moths are a bit prone to do this? And when you try to gently scoop them out.......they disintegrate, leaving wings, legs and all sorts of bits and pieces, floating around in what was once your little oasis of relaxation.

I'm afraid once I realise that I am sharing the bubbles with a moth, deceased or otherwise.......that's it for me - I'm out of there!! :lol:

Lovely photos though. I've been having a look round at our insect life....but it all looks pretty straight forward here in South Australia. I don't know whether Sue can report anthing unusual where she is.
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Postby Savannah_Alan » Fri 5 May 2006 07:14 GMT

Yes, I liked the way they were "cuddled up" together. They've gone now, so I hope the date was a success :lol: .

I know what you mean about the moths. They're so delicate. I would have loved to have moved that first big guy to a better background for photos but, knowing how delicate they are, I didn't want to touch him. It was good of him to pose so long for me.

Alan.
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Postby nooranismith » Fri 5 May 2006 11:24 GMT

And again exquisitely beautiful. I've pinched your pics to add to my screensaver - I hope you don't mind (no commercial usage whatsoever - just on my computer at home).

Don't know what they are I'm afraid though - identification was never my strong point - ecological niche and behaviour I'll prattle on for hours (bright pink not normally being associated with camouflage for example).
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