Sunday, March 30, 2014

You're about to get schooled.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

So before you read this educational post, brought to you by the letters L & M, and the number 25, go re-read about the big, fat caterpillar here, because that's some important back story, right there.

So, that big fat caterpillar turned itself into a big fat cocoon the day after we brought it home, and there it stayed, first in our kitchen windowsill, and then to the laundry room windowsill, for 25 WEEKS. I was pretty sure that thing was dead. (Read about THAT adventure HERE.)

After researching a LOT, we had a belief that it was a luna moth caterpillar, and did even MORE research on the matter. Sunday, we were proven right. Little miss Luna Lovemoth made her appearance from the cocoon and was ooh-ing and ahh-ing us with her miraculous transformation. (Okay, okay, it was pretty much just me. The hubs and kids all called me "Cam" (modern family) and ran away, leaving me to my bug eyed mumblings of "Its a miracle!" and such...). She was a beauty, that's for sure, and I was so happy and proud!
More research ensued, and I am happy to say that I am now a self proclaimed Luna moth expert! Side note: did I tell you I got my certificate to be an ordained minister? I can marry you now! (random heidi things - my Nickle loves those...)

Luna Lovemoth, her wings full and dry!
So, these big ol' fat caterpillars either cocoon in the summer or they overwinter, like Luna Lovemoth did. If they're an overwintering caterpillar, they turn kinda reddish brown, which was what made me (at the time), think that maybe she wasn't a luna caterpillar, or she was sick. Now i know, and so do you. Gold star!
She is a she because her antennae said so. She's got more of a normal sized brow antennae, while the males look a little more like Brooke Shields or Ben Stein. She also had a fatter body, because it was full of eggs - ready to be fertilized!
When Luna didn't fly away the first night, or the second, I found out that females often don't fly until the 3rd night, because they are saving energy for the egg-stravaganza that would follow suit, and also, they send out pheromones on the wind to attract the males to come an' get it! (smells like teen spirit! anyone remember that? anyone?...totally aged myself...) Adult moths don't even have mouths. They live for up to 10 days - long enough to make that love connection and move on to the great bug catcher in the sky. Snif snif.
I had dreams that a handsome man moth (not the mothman!) would come and fertilize those eggums and in the morning I'd see them in the little cage and close it up and breed a zillion baby fat caterpillars this spring, but she did as mother nature has told her to do for hundreds of years now and she flew off the third night and I was a bit sad, but a bit happy. Good luck, Luna Lovemoth!

The evening before the flight :(
Maybe on one of my runs this spring I'll look down and see another big fat caterpillar ready for a nice morning jog, and we'll start this life cycle all over again?

I found a guy online who sells luna eggs. Thought about sending off for some, but then I realized that I had probably just gone off the deep end again (Cam).


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  1. You are so funny. And a wee bit weird. Good weird, but still.

    And I totally got the teen spirit ref! ;)


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