Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing...Hickory Horned Devil

Nature, master of deception...

Fearsome Dragon... Demon Seed...

Gentle Giant... Hungry Child...

The Regal Moth, splendid scion of the Saturniids, like its kin the Cecropia, Polyphemus and Luna moths, has only vestigial mouthparts. It emerges each summer from months of slumber with no means of nourishing itself, and barely a week to live...

Fly, fly, mate and die.

From a tiny egg deposited on the leaves of the persimmon tree, or perhaps a hickory, a caterpillar hatches. Ravenous, it feasts on the bounty of greenery... for hours, for days, for weeks, it taps into the energy of the sun itself, bound up in the leaves of its host.

It eats, and it grows. And, as it grows in girth, it grows in hideous ferocity, daring any other living thing to touch it, glaring in the face of danger, staring down the winged, would-be predator.

At last, sufficiently fed to ensure its readiness for the task ahead some ten months hence, it slips from its perch in the trees into the soil below, where it will begin its tranformation from demon to glorious queen of the night.

Sweet dreams, gentle giant.


  1. we had one of these come through our yard 2 summers ago. They are a sight to see.

    1. Not much chance of mistaking them for anything else, like say, a kitten, is there?!