Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Buck Moth Stops Here.

Moths are usually somewhat difficult to photograph. Many of them are nocturnal which means that the only way to photograph them is with artificial light. Fortunately not all moths are nocturnal, some can be seen in the middle of the day.
This colorful moth is a buck moth, Hemileuca maia. They are a member of the Saturniidae family. They are fond in the eastern half of the United States with eastern Minnesota being the north west portion of their range. This is probably a male because females usually have more red on the tip of their abdomen.
Buck moths are usually seen flying on sunny days in early Autumn. I found this one wandering in the grass in the Minnesota Valley NWR on a sunny September day. Typically there is one generation of buck moth a year but here in the north many will actually pupate through a second winter. I love the eye in this last shot, it gives him an almost whimsical look.

10 comments:

Daogreer Earth Works said...

These are great shots! Nice work.

KaHolly said...

I zoomed in on that last shot for a better look and it was perfect. I've never seen anything quite like this before. I'll have to check to see if they are as far NE as I am in the autumn. ~karen

jo said...

Some moths are so spectacular that you could mistake them for butterflies. Do you now the Scarlet Tiger? When it flies the white dots on the red/black wings make it look like a twirling helicopter. Also a daytime moth and it lives on Comfrey.
I haven't yet learned to love the grey-beige-browns moths though :-)

Trish ~ ♥ ~ said...

Wow! looks like a fuzzy caterpillar with wings

Martha Z said...

Great capture, it is fuzzy as a caterpillar.

BJ Roan said...

I too like the eye in the last shot. It is humanesque. Great pics.

Jama said...

These are great macro shot!

texwisgirl said...

Very pretty little furry thing!

Karen said...

Oh wow. What a hairy little guy. Great shots.

Anonymous said...

This a pretty moth. I live in Baton Rouge, LA, the buck moth caterpillar is a horrible beast that is covered in long poison-filled spines that can break off in your skin when just brushed against, touched, sat or stepped on. Look up pictures of them and you can see what these pretty creatures come from. The poison in the spines leaves swollen, dark marks where every spine enters the skin. It burns burns and stings for hours, sometimes days. The marks stay for days even when the pain subsides. It is their defense against predation and what a defense it is. WAT worse than bee or wasp stings I think. I stepped on one last night while in my carport, barefoot and in the dark, and it STILL hurts so badly I have trouble wearing shoes. Had no idea it was time for them to emerge. This morning I killed 37 of them in my carport alone! Most are the size of your pinky or index finger. I love nature, but I HATE these things!!