Pet sitting, the wild way

I pet sit frequently, because, on a temporary basis, what’s one more fuzzy thing to feed? And because I truly love animals. People usually ask me to tend things like dogs, chickens, rabbits, turtles, kittens that need to be bottle fed. But this time…

IMG_20150527_091335595
Prometheus moth, female

…I got moths. This prometheus moth promptly crawled out of the paper sack I had her “secured” in and started laying her eggs on the window screen. The great thing about the prometheus moth as a pet is that as adults, they don’t need to feed. It was a marvelous opportunity to study the tiny feathers and bright colors up close. I’d never even seen one before, because, lets face it, I do not spend a lot of time in the tops of cherry trees at night. Black cherry leaves are what the caterpillars feed on, and night time is when the adults fly.

IMG_20150610_131039179
Polyphemus moth caterpillars, only 3/16 of an inch long

Today, these little ones arrived in the mail. Eggs and freshly hatched Cecropia and Polyphemus. Unlike the adults, they are voracious eaters, so I went on a nice foraging mission on their behalf for red oak leaves (Polyphemus) and Black Cherry leaves (Cecropia).

 

Cecropia moth caterpillars, hatching
Cecropia moth caterpillars, hatching. They actually refused the black cherry leaves, but have started munching on crabapple leaves.

 

Right now, they are the size of a grain of rice. But the silk cocoons I’m watching from an earlier laying are not small! The cacoons range in size from a tube of lip balm to a mouse, which means I have a lot of leaf collecting in my near future…

If you’re in the area, stop by Indian Creek Nature Center to see a variety of caterpillars (in the sunroom) and adult moths and butterflies (in the hoop house).

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_15

 

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Pet sitting, the wild way

  1. We’re trying to get out in nature as much as possible too. We explored the wetlands the other day and got to see lots of bunnies and lizards, but no coyotes this time.

    1. I seldom see coyotes at all, although we hear them frequently and they show up on the trail camera whenever we bait it. With the rain we’ve had, the toads have picked up singing again and the bullfrogs have just started.

  2. Fun post. Beautiful moth. I too spend very little time at the top of cherry trees so it was fun to see this in pictures. The size of a mouse!?! Now THAT’S wild!! Happy foraging! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s