May 12, 2008

Giant Leopard Moth

Here’s the moth Mia and I took from caterpillar to flight (and no, a bird didn’t get this one as soon as we let it go, as happened with a Luna moth at her school). It was lovely as a caterpillar, too–covered with black bristly hairs and showing vivid red bands between its body segments. Here’s how the Peterson First Guides book on Caterpillars describes the moth:

“The adult moth is very striking, with its 3-inch wingspan, white and black spotted forewings, and metalic blue abdomen with orange markings. It is eastern but more common in south Texas.”

comments

  1. Deron Bauman on May 12th, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    damn, I love those. we get them around the house every once and a while.

  2. Amy Mabli on May 12th, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    I’m constantly reminded that nature is never wrong when it comes to design. Surface design, anyway.

  3. Sheila Ryan on May 12th, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    I’m fond of moths. This one’s a beauty.

    Do y’all see many Cecropia moths in Dallas? I can’t remember having seen them till I moved up into southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. I adore them.

  4. Daryl Scroggins on May 12th, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    Sheila: I have never seen Cecropia in Dallas, but, oddly, I once saw it in Houston. Another of my favorites is the Polyphemus moth, and the Striped Hawk moth–the latter of which I used to watch from evenings until dark as they sipped from fluffy pink mimosa blossoms. We kids called them hummingbird moths.

  5. Desiree Hartman on July 1st, 2008 at 8:44 am

    We have these moths everywhere at our house and they are beautiful. Their outsides and undersides are both beautiful.

  6. Sandy Emig on July 17th, 2008 at 9:19 am

    Saw this moth in a window well at my home 2 days ago. A beautiful moth, and delighted to find out it is the wooly bear caterpillar come full circle!

  7. Sandy Emig on July 17th, 2008 at 9:20 am

    I live in northeastern Ohio.

  8. Jenny on September 18th, 2008 at 11:04 am

    My daughter just found one of these caterpillars at my In-Laws farm near Mineral Point, WI & Dodgeville, WI. We do not usually find these caterpillars around our area….

  9. Daryl Scroggins on September 18th, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Great to hear this, Jenny–thanks. It’s sometimes sort of like sending out a message in a bottle when I make such a post: news comes back of distant sightings of the same creature, often in places that are well beyond the “usual” range of the animal. Usual before the effects of global warming, that is.

  10. Jerry Latham on September 23rd, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    Daryl, I have 3 sons who bugged me for the last week to go bug hunting with them. We found a caterpillar that is exactly like the one above. I am in Birmingham Alabama. I was hoping that we could watch the whole cycle of caterpillar to moth. Do you have any suggestions for us. Any type of special housing or enviroment that is best for this learning experience? Any help would be great. It is approx about 2 to 2 1/2 inchs long right now.

  11. Donna on October 1st, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    The kids in our homeschool group just found a moth that looked like this in Shawnee, Oklahoma. I brought it home and told them I would try to research it and find out what it is. I am glad I was able to find it on her so I can go back next week and tell them what it is.

  12. Daryl Scroggins on October 1st, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    That’s great, Donna. This moth really gets around it seems! And it’s so beautiful. Jerry asked earlier about the care and feeding of such; I e-mailed him directly but the bit I know about the matter (a very small bit) might help others reading here: I put the caterpillar into a small plastic aquarium–gravel on the bottom and screen wire over the top. They are said to like to eat honeysuckle, so I put some in there and soon saw the caterpillar eating it. Then one day I didn’t see the creature in there and thought it had escaped, but it had made a cocoon up at the top by the wire. And a few weeks later there it was, resting before flight. I’m just glad it flew away safely when we let it go; the joy of a similar release at my granddaughter’s school dropped to zero suddenly when that other side of nature brought a mockingbird to snatch it out of the air!

  13. lizzy on October 2nd, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    what do these things eat my little sister just found one and we wanna keep it?

  14. Lauri on October 8th, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    My son and I just found one of these caterpillars while picking tomatoes at our friend’s garden. We are in extreme northwestern Wisconsin so I was surprised to see that its range is usually the Eastern and Southern states. We made him a home in a quart jar for now…with some sand, a stick, a few leaves and lots of holes poked in the lid. My son will take him to school tomorrow. If they kept him until he made his cocoon, I suppose he would emerge as a moth in the dead of winter. Hmmm…maybe we should just let him go after he visits the class?

  15. janet on October 11th, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    I just found one of these myself. I think it would be cool to see this turn into a month, but I worry about it not surviving. I live in Iowa. Is it common to find these here.

  16. kiana on October 12th, 2008 at 11:55 am

    HI i found many leapored catipilars i have 3 questions what type of food do they eat i gave him lettuce and he eat for a few day’s then stop? my other question is how do you know if it’s a boy/girl? and my last question is how do you breed them?

  17. Daryl Scroggins on October 12th, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Hello Kiana, I’m afraid I can’t be of much help with your questions, but perhaps somebody who knows will see this and post an answer. All I know is that they will eat honeysuckle leaves; honesuckle is abundant here so I have never tried anything but that. I have no ideas about determining gender or breeding them. I guess I just like finding different caterpillars and then waiting to see what sort of moth or butterfly appears. We get some wonderful surprises sometimes. It’s also amazing to see praying mantises hatch out of an egg case. They are so tiny but look exactly like the larger versions they grow to be. And these cases may be bought from many garden centers that sell organic gardening products. Best of luck to you!

    Thanks also to Lauri and Janet for the news of finds in NW Wisconsin and Iowa. It seems to me that the range of these creatures is much larger than that which is shown for them in many of the insect guides. But I suppose the given range is never meant to be regarded as a kind I fence! I suspect that changing global climate patterns will cause many such maps to have to be redrawn.

  18. Kristi Duehr on October 12th, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    I live in Dubuque, Iowa and my twins and I just found the giant leopard caterpillar in our yard. We hope to see it change into a moth!

  19. Heather on November 24th, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    We had a leopard moth caterpillar – black pointy hairs with red bands around its body. We kept in a large tupperware container with some greenery, dirt, small rock, a couple of sticks for it to climb on. Every now and then, the kids would give it a small mist with their squirt bottle to “simulate” rain. These moths love eating dandelions. Just the stems. Anyway, to make a long story short…. our caterpillar aka Fuzzy escaped. We searched high and low and never found him. Well, we just found him (2 months later) in our restroom on a white towel. He has already gone into his coccoon and is out! Yikes. Late November in Indiana!! I wonder where he has been all this time? I just hung that towel up this morning and by this evening he was on there. Do you know how cold it is here? What do I do with him now? I have him in a large container as his wings are still wet. Suggestions?? Do you know what they eat? How long they live? Anything? :) thanks.

  20. Hilary Regan on December 3rd, 2008 at 8:21 am

    We live in New Jersey and my girls (3 and 5) are having a ball with our giant leopard caterpillar. We are hoping to see him make a cocoon and turn into a moth. Does anyone have any advice on this? We have been giving him plants and water and a safe home(away from their pesky 10 month old sister). Is it best to leave it alone and not play with it 20 times a day? What kind of climate does it need? It is really cold here in NJ but the house is nice and warm…which environment will help to foster a cocoon? What is the general lifecycle? How long is it a caterpillar? How long is it in the cocoon?
    Any info would be greatly appreciated!

  21. Daryl Scroggins on December 4th, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Here’s a link to a great site that offers lots of useful information about caring for catepillars:

    http://www.amentsoc.org/insects/caresheets/caterpillars.html

  22. Mrs. Burrell's class- Homer Drive Elementary, Beaumont, Tx on December 8th, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Our class is raising two of these caterpillars. One is also named Fuzzy and the other one is Baby Jonathan. This will be the fourth year my class has raised leapord moth caterpillars and we always name at least one Fuzzy. They require A LOT of dandilions.They get their water from the plants. We put them in a small aquarium with potting soil on the bottom and a few sticks for them to crawl around on. They must have a lid or they will escape! I have found they are more active at night but they do crawl around some during the day. Today Fuzzy crawled into his cocoon. It happened within a thirty minute span. One minute he was in his sticky web and when we returned from lunch he was in a yellowish cocoon. Within a short time it will turn dark brown. It usually takes a few weeks and one day they will pop out and a beautiful Leapord month will be waiting for you. We will gently put him on a high tree branch and celebrate with a goodbye party. we live in the milder climate of the Texas coast so letting him out in winter is not that big of a problem. These caterpillars survived two hurricanes this year before we found them so they must be pretty hardy.

  23. Lucy Foley on December 8th, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Mrs. Burrell, you have a nice job.

  24. Heidi Eyer on December 18th, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    We live in Paducah, KY and found 2 of these caterpillars in late fall. One is still a caterpillar and has molted once I believe and the other just hatched into a moth today. It is freezing cold here. What shall we do and what shall we feed it to sustain it?? Thanks!

  25. Susan on January 4th, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    I found one of these moths this morning on my back porch. It was attached to an old comforter that I’d left out there. It scared me at first. It was curled up in a ball and it looked like it was attached by a yellow web. After doing some research and reading everyone’s comments, I’ve decided to keep him. My 2-year-old daughter is fascinated with it! She’s named him “Mimi”.

  26. Natalie Seach on January 8th, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    My daughter just found one of these moths. It was a caterpillar but today she checked on it and it was a moth. It is very interesting. I live in Charleston, South Carolina. I have a question. What will it eat now? Or how can i tell it is a boy or girl? Or how big will it get? Well. Thanks for the information! :)

  27. Natalie Seach on January 8th, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Right now i just found out it had babies! I have one more question. Can the moth have babies without a mate? Please someone tell me and my daughter. Thanks!:)
    :(

  28. mindi on January 13th, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    I FOUND THIS BEAUTIFUL CATERPILLAR IN MY GARAGE, WE FED IT PEARS, IT COCOONED, HATCHED AND IS BEAUTIFUL!
    I HAVE A FEW QUESTIONS, WHAT DO I FEED IT NOW? IT IS MID JAN. IN NORTHERN OHIO, ( very cold ) IS IT MALE OR FEMALE AND WHAT ARE THE TINY ROUND THINGS LEFT IN SMALL AREAS ON THE NETTING? COULD THESE BE EGGS? IF SO NOW WHAT? HOW LONG DO THEY LIVE AFTER HATCHING. AND LASTLY HOW WARM SHOULD IT GET BEFORE RELEASING IT, ASSUMING IT LIVES?
    I CANT WAIT TO HEAR FROM YOU, THANK YOU

  29. Anne Burrell on January 14th, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Our two caterpillars have finallly hatched. It took about three weeks. They went into their cocoons exactly two days apart and broke out of their cocoons exactly two days apart. There was a coffee milk colored fluid left in the shell. And I noticed that they crawled out of their “fuzzy skin” from behind the neck into their cocoons. The weather was mild (60) and I did not feel there was a problem letting them go. My feeling is if they were on their own they would be in the cold so I don’t see why they wouldn’t survive if you let them go whatever the weather. They each took over a day to move far off the tree we put them in. The little drops on the neting are just sticky fluid dropletts. I have never seen them turn into eggs. I think the eggs have to be layed by the adult moth.
    I am not sure you would be able to keep an adult because he would need to be able to fly around.

  30. Taylor on July 24th, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    it is know that the leopard moth is located in Texas , however we found two in statesboro, ga, and they are in the process of making there cocoon at this time. the catapillers are about one and a half inches long , long black fuzzy hairs and orange stripes & very hungry. we dont know how long it will take them to come out but we are waitting. thank you, taylor smith age 8

  31. Ralph on July 25th, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Found a leopard moth caterpillar in my garage in Carrollton, TX, just north of Dallas. After reading the comments above I’m planning on set up a habitat for it. Have a 6 year old grandson who is a bug nut. This will be a very educational experience for both of us.

  32. Paul on August 12th, 2009 at 7:44 am

    Sigh, does ANYBODY know what the MOTH form of the Leopard Moth eat? Does it eat anything (some moths do not)? Mine just emerged yesterday and I left some fruit in the habitat. Since it is nocturnal I have no idea if it eats it or not, but I don’t have any other ideas. Web search only says what the caterpillar form eats. If it is the type of moth that doesn’t eat, I wish someone who knew would say so. Can anyone find an entomologist??? :)

  33. Nancy Thompson on September 18th, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    I have just seen the largest moth! I live in Pasadena Texas and raise lots of “natural” and native plants with no insectisides. The Leopard Moth is at least 4 to 5 inches of a wing span with the body almost as long. I thought I was seeing things until I made someone else take a look. Have taken photos will show as soon as I pick up (35m). In addition I am having such a variety of different moths from unusual colors, bland colors, white, pink, and I am not a person that know much about these extremely interesting critters, My passion is just plants and flowers.
    Since we have never had such a large variety of moths, could it be possible that the weatherm hurricane Ike from last year or just changes could be sending these beautiful critters to visit?

  34. meg on September 30th, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Howdy all, I would like to report my surprise and pleasure at finding a lively 2 1/4 inch giant leopard caterpillar here in Wisconsin. It was cruising the lawn in probable search for dandelions, but we have many of it’s reported munchables in our yard. I read that it will feed on cherry, so I’ll be putting it in the cloche I have set up for the 4 Cecropia larve I’ve managed to raise over the summer.
    They’re larger than the Leopard, but having just been moved, there’s plenty of fresh leaves to go around. I think I’ll stick dandies and plaintain leaves in also, just to be safe. I’d love to see this one as an adult. but this late in the season, I’m betting it will overwinter as it is and morph in the spring. I’ll keep you posted!

  35. meg on September 30th, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Oops – the hungary bugger is under the computer table – nothing to eat there!

  36. Phil on October 6th, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Just thought I would say that I found one in Biddeford, Maine seeing as though Wisconsin and Iowa were far reaches for these creatures.

  37. Pat B on October 18th, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    I found a leopard moth in my front yard in Springfield, MO. How would we go about raising it over the winter. We have a wooly bear, but I didn’t think I should put them together. Any advice?
    Thanks

  38. Jeff on October 25th, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    We live in Southern California (Palos Verdes). I found a Black Hairy Catapillar in our garage. We took care of it and it hatched into a Leopard Moth. We couldn’t figure out why it was here in California until we realized that it came from the luggage in our garage that was at a plant nursery from houston, TX.

  39. Janice Hannon on January 23rd, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    I just found one of these Leopard moth catapillars on my porch in Indianapolis IN. I had never seen one here before!

  40. Anne Burrell on January 26th, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    As a second grade teacher in Beaumont, Texas it is easy to find these fuzzy caterpillars around our school. I have raise them for five years. Today our caterpillar, “Fuzzy” hatched from his (or her) cacoon today. The children were so excited. We set him free in hopes we will have more caterpillars next year. He crawled into his cacoon before Christmas break and stayed there for over a month. They are always suprised to see how different the moths look from the fat, fuzzy, black caterpillars we first catch.

  41. Daryl Scroggins on January 26th, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Splendid, Anne. I love to hear of kids seeing such things. Best of luck to you and your class.

  42. meg on January 26th, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Howdy all! Boy, I wish it were warm enough in Wisc. to see caterpillars! As an update to my Cherry Tree Cloche Project, the Leopard moth and three of the four Cecropias made cocoons.

    I went out to check them a couple weeks ago, and all looks well, but as we’d been getting long periods of below-freezing temps (not counting wind) I re-installed the cloche-fiber, wrapping the area in a loose double layer for added protection. The bugs didn’t really have a choice on where the set up shop, and the tree is in a wide open area, so I figured a bit of added shelter would be wise.

    As an aside to people interested in the changes of behavior patterns caused by global warming, there are Robins in Wisconsin already – a flock of nine males were seen as my husband and I were returning home last week. These birds are usually not seen here until late March! And as far as I know are not suited to temps hovering at 19* day and 4* by night. I hope they’ve the sense to scoot back south before such weather kills too many of them. I know they’ll eat seed from feeders, but they’re normal high-calorie diet of insects and worms is simply not available.

  43. nichole on February 10th, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    OMGosh..i found one!!ii mean i love in OHIO in the usa.
    he was crawling by the driveway..all black bristles and red bands.
    He crawled onto my hand..and curled up.
    i then kept him..an a butterfly cage,fed him cabbage,carrots,
    lettuce..and clovers.I didnt know what they eat..but he ate it all up.
    then he started to grab the moss i gave him and wrapped himself
    up..in them with webbings.
    then two months later..i seen this white thing..in the cage.
    \I had to look him up and see what he was.
    he is big fat white moth with black spost..bluish bands
    on his face like the pics i just seen!
    but why in ohio???
    what do i feed him?
    i mean dont moths eat..umm…pollen?
    its the dead of winter..what do i do with him??
    he’ll die if i put him outside..
    what can i feed my baby leopard moth??
    do i give him honey in water?
    i dunno what to do..other web sites dont tell me anything.
    please email me…and tell me what to feed my moth.
    oh,
    another thing.
    i found another caterpillar..i think hes a woollybear.
    black bristles with a patch of reddish brown bristles
    in the center.he wrapped himself up too.
    can you help me…with him too??

  44. Sharon on May 22nd, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Hi moth watchers. My son and his friends spotted a leopard moth on the brick post. Wow. We live on Long Island and we have never seen one before. Thanks for helping us identify it.

  45. DeAnna Johnson on June 30th, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    I live in Maryland and have never seen one before. Imagine my surprise, when I found not one, but two! One was considerably larger, with a bulbous body. The other much smaller. My family and I decided the larger one had to be the family. Sure enough, this morning, the smaller one abandoned ship and left the larger one alone to lay what was the most amazing line of eggs. She must either be exhausted or very proud of herself, ’cause she’s been staring at them all day. :) It has been quite exciting over here in Damascus.

  46. Laura B on August 9th, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Hello everyone. My daughter and I found a giant lepoard caterpillar tonight on our front porch. We live in McKinney, TX, which is north of Dallas We are very excited to find our little friend and have him sequestered in a butterfly habitat, in hopes of seeing him turn into a Leopard Moth. Last year she found a crysallis of a Giant Emporer Moth. We kept it in the habitat until it hatched into a huge, beautiful moth with eyes on it’s wings and furry antennae. Now we are so excited to find our new furry friend and we hope to nurture it into it’s next stage of life as a Giant Leopard Moth.

  47. Carole Corlew on August 9th, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    I have never seen such a creature in all my years of gardening. How fascinating. Look at all these posts!

  48. Rebecca R on September 22nd, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Just found a Giant Leopard Moth caterpillar on my porch in Madison, WI this morning. Had NO idea what it was (we’re more used to woolly bears here), so I looked it up online. Very cool! :)

  49. sjaantze42 on December 7th, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    I’ve got one of the giant leopard moth caterpillars, and am attempting to overwinter it. Not sure what is going to happen with him, but this website has been very helpful: http://www3.islandtelecom.com/~oehlkew/arctiidaecare.htm

    Apparently, the caterpillars can survive freezing temperatures, but you can also keep them in tupperware in the refrigerator with plants and moist paper towels until spring.

    The adults do not eat, and have no mouthparts with which to feed. They will live for a week or two, but if one has hatched early, there is not much that you can do with them if you live in a cold climate.

  50. Jeannine on April 16th, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I had a parent bring one to my classroom and we waited forever for the caterpillar to pupate. I took it home and left it alone and it made a cocoon. Then about 4 weeks later we have a leopard moth. It’s beautiful. I don’t know what to feed it though. We live in Longview Texas.

  51. AngelWings on May 14th, 2011 at 12:35 am

    For all of you who have asked what to feed a leopard moth, I clicked on the link above provided by sjaantze42, and was heartbroken to learn that they don’t eat. They have no mouth, and live only long enough to mate and fertilize/lay eggs; approx. 1-2 weeks. My leopard moth emerged today, after five weeks of hiding beneath a clump of grass I planted in her habitat. I can’t stop crying. Such a beautiful creature, and now will have to release her sooner than I had planned, knowing she won’t live long. I’ll just have to hang on to the memories of her as a caterpillar. She loved crawling all over me and taking naps in the crook of my neck. :::sniff:::

  52. Susan on May 16th, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Wow I found a baby giant leopard moth and i named him bill ^^ i can’t wait til he is bigger i thought at first he was a millipede or a centipede lol i can’t believe he eats bannana leaves i will give him to my gifted teacher it is SUCH a beautiful moth and i found this one in pensacola fl wow

  53. kaygem on May 28th, 2011 at 12:24 am

    I found one of the Giant Leopard Moths in my kitchen. It’s just sitting on the side of the cabinet. It’s been there for a few days now. I finally got around to looking up what it is. I’m really sad to see that these beautiful moths only live for a few weeks. Gorgeous creature.

  54. Laurel on June 2nd, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    My daughter and I found one of these caterpillars laying under some carpet in our yard. We have been feeding it dandelion leaves for about 2 months now. It has gone through one instar with us. This is when it sheds its current skin for a bigger one. We read that it over winters as a caterpillar and then cocoons in the spring to turn into a Leopard Moth. We just wondered if anyone could tell us how long that would take and if we are feeding it the right stuff or if we should be giving it anything else.

  55. Audrey on September 5th, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    My mom found this type of caterpillar in her garden 2 days ago. It was on her lettuce plants, chowing down vigorously. We put in a fish tank abut the size of 2 rectangular kleenex boxes stacked on top of each other. A lid is required!!! It can climb the surface of slippery plastic or glass, but strangely enough, can not make a chrysalis in the corner of a fish tank. He eats (and, unfortunately, poops) around the clock. I live near the twin cities in Minnesota, and my caterpillar is about an inch and a half long, fuzzy and black, all black except for traces of orange-ish red stripes beginning to form in between the bristles. I believe due to resources on other websites as well as this one that my caterpillar is quite young, and was wondering how old they must be before they develop their full stripes. Thanks!

    Audrey

  56. mel on November 25th, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    my son and I found a caterpillar back in August it recently came out of its caccoon and is a beautiful leopard moth. I am located in Ontario Canada and have never seen these moths around this part. Where do they originate from ?

    Thanks Mel

  57. Daryl Scroggins on November 25th, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I don’t know where the leopard moth was first seen, but it’s nice to imagine them coming down from the moon.

  58. Rick Neece on November 25th, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    I love the legs and longevity of this thread.

  59. Daryl Scroggins on November 25th, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Rick, yes. Thank you. Isn’t it odd? I’m always delighted to hear that some child or parent has found one of these, but I always feel bad that I really can’t answer the questions that come with the news. I love moths, but mostly I just put them outside when they get in the house instead of…. Comments on this post now take me back to when Mia was little and we so often examined bugs and leaves and snails. She seems all grown up now, but maybe she still thinks of such things too.

  60. Rick Neece on November 25th, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    I love being reminded of things I’ve forgotten. And, Daryl! Kids who’ve grown up? The past few days, I’ve been reminded there are kids who have never known Danny without me by his side, nor me without him. Hugs came from all leaving Rockton this morning. It worked my mind on the drive home to KC.

  61. Rick Neece on November 25th, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    The grand-nephews-and-nieces call me Uncle Rick! I love it. I’m blessed beyond recognition.

  62. Chibuzo on November 28th, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Here I go again! I submitted my comment without a valid email and everything went KAPOOWEE! Now, where was I… Oh, it was two months ago when I found her crawling in the grass outside my back door. She was a furry, prickly thing with orange bands becoming visible upon closer inspection. It wasn’t long before I had swept her off of her feet (all six of them).For me it was love at first sight. I lavished her with affection (a.k.a dirt, fresh leaves sprinkled with water and a few sticks) and took the best care of her that I knew how. My very first soon to be Giant Leopard Moth! I couldn’t believe it! (of course I didn’t even know until I looked her up…thanks google!) . . . and then it happened. Late November, just after the rain stopped and the temperature dropped to a chilling near 40 degrees. She emerged as the most Beautiful Hypercompe scribonia I had EVER seen!. Yes, it happened today! I looked away for about two hours and I missed the metamorphosis, the transformation, the transmogrification, the… the (Sorry, I’m beside myself with glee.) She’s beautiful and unfortunately it’s too cold outside to let her go. I’m praying that Parthenogenesis (a form of asexual reproduction found in females whereby growth and developement occur in the absence of a male for fertilization) will take place, although my research suggests not, and that I’ll get to see the next generation of these fine creatures, but even if I don’t… It’s been real. It’s been a FANTASTIC experience!!! THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!

  63. Chibuzo on November 28th, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    OK. It’s cold outside. What do I do with my Cecropia which is soon emerge from its pupal stage?

  64. John on December 9th, 2011 at 4:42 am

    Hi everyone, I live in Pa about 45 mins away from Pittsburgh. I found my little Harry while I was outside smoke a cigarette on my back porch around the end of November. I first saw my Great Moth Caterpillar and I honestly was kind of scared of it. So I kinda just ignored and went back inside, and then I felt bad because it was starting to get cold outside so I went back out and found it crawling in the grass. I took mine inside and put it in a little hermit crab cage with some dirt, leaves, sticks, and some fresh lettuce to munch on. It still is in its caterpillar for as of right now, all it really does it climb around, eat, and sleep curled up in a ball. I’m in love with my caterpillar, and it’s very easy to take care of being 20 years old and always busy. I can’t wait until it morphs into a cocoon, and becomes the beautiful moth it is destined to be. Right now I hear it chewing on some leaves, if anyone can please tell me, how do I know when it is about to go into the cocoon stage. I’m getting kind of impatient, but it feels really good to know that I’m caring and giving it love and a good home.

  65. Cathy Beckwith on January 10th, 2012 at 7:59 am

    We live on the Gulf Coast below Venice. Working in the yard last week, we found 2 “wooley” catapillar. Delighted to find out this little one is a Leopard Moth. Over the weekend, I found 2 more. WOW :) I placed them in a large aquarium with sand, sticks, etc. and keep fresh leaves from broadleaf plants. Have plenty. Well, the first 2 have gone into cocoon. Very odd, one wrapped sand all around and the other one crawled to the top of aquarium and has covered itself with its cocoon fuzz. I raise Monarch butterflies I gather from eggs in my garden. There are about 75 in different stages. The catapillar cocoon is so different from the Monarch chrysalis. I am so in love with all these little beings. I have photos to document as I do with the Butterflies. I do not see a place to add photos here. However, just thought I would share. Of course, it is mostly very warm here in the winter, so when they emerge it will be very exciting to release them and hopefully continue to raise them. We can never have too many beautiful Butterflies or Moths. Well mostly.

  66. Becka Hamsmith on June 14th, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    i found one of these in maryland by my yard when i was watering my flowers today and i was so scared i hadnt seen one ever!my nefew was right beside me and me not being smart i squirted the hose in its direction because of poisonious things and i didnt know what it was and all i thought was pretect the baby. is this normal for them to be in maryland in june? please reply thankyou. Becka Hamsmith. Ps. is there a fine for killing one of these?