Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mysterious Larva pt. 3 ~ Gossamer Wings

Hey ya'll

One of the most interesting and exciting things to do, for a person who shares my preoccupation with butterflies and moths, is when you find a mysterious caterpillar and raise it in anticipation of what might emerge at the other end of the life-cycle! You may recall that it was barely over a week ago that our "Mystery Larva" finally crawled to the top of its container where it spun for itself a copious cocoon of silk and hairs  and truly we were not expecting an emergence anytime soon. So you can just imagine my delight and surprise at receiving an SMS from Ray this evening to tell me that a "beautiful white moth" had emerged from the cocoon and was drying its wings on the top of the box! Why, I was quite simply ecstatic and told him to upload the pictures immediately. Half an hour of painful waiting later, the pictures were uploaded and my joy and delight were further compounded by the fact that our "Mystery Larva" had turned into a medium sized moth which I have never before seen in my life! Indeed, a comment from our dear lepidopterist friend Khalid confirmed that it must be quite an uncommon specimens since he, too, had never seen one quite like it before (and TRUST ME, he sees more than his fair share of moths up in Fraser's Hill and Cameron Highlands annually!). This is perhaps one of the best and most rewarding part of studying wild insects: the diversity of species is literally so high that one is bound to stumble upon something "new" from time to time. I'm still hoping to get it identified though, and while I will be doing my own research, it would simply be swell if one of you guys out there may be able to help me out here. 

I know these are possibly not the best pictures to go by, but I will most certainly upload more pictures when the spreading has been done. In the meantime, all I can say that it is most definitely from the genus Calliteara, though specifically which one, I'm not sure.

1 comment:

Brittanie said...

Hmmmm It's most definitely Calliteara. When you can try and get up closer to the wing patterns as this for some reason seem much lighter in shade then Calliteara pudibunda. But maybe they're variable?

Pretty big tussocks! I love them. Wish these came to my lobby & terrace lights.