Tuesday, October 22, 2013

White-lined sphinx moth hatch!

NEWS FLASH!! My white-lined sphinx moth chrysalis hatched yesterday, finally, after exactly 4 weeks! I'd been checking it several times a day recently, because it had gotten darker and I could see the moth's wings, etc., more clearly. I'd seen it move a couple of times, too... kind of a quick little jump. So I thought it might be going to hatch soon.

Last evening I happened to hear tiny scritching noises coming from where I'd had it tucked away on the counter (so that Josie couldn't get at it), and lo and behold, the moth had hatched! I was thrilled!

It was trying to climb the sides of the jar, thus the noises I heard. Finally it climbed up the stick I had placed in the jar for that purpose, so that it could hang at the top and stretch its wings. Here are the photos I took in the order I took them, so you can see its progression:

Above, it was clinging to the nylon that covered the jar. Of course I needed better pics than that, so I took it off.

Then I put it back on, trying to get a shot of its wings looking fuller:

Its underside was not really glowing. There's lots of light distortion in that picture. :)

Then I took it back off again for clearer shots:

A half hour or so later, I went back and got this shot, when it had its wings fully spread. I knew it wasn't likely to be flying for some time, so I was brave enough to take it back out of the jar:

Here's the empty chrysalis. It was kind of crisply flimsy and had some liquid in it:

What an amazing process, huh?!

Now, the big question is... what to do with it?! With the 's' word in the forecast, it's not a very good time for it go be going outside. Courtney's daddy suggested I let it go in the house. He figured Josie and Annabelle would have fun with it. Ha! Indeed they would! Poor moth. ;(

Anybody need a specimen for a butterfly/moth collection?


LiEr said...

No, I don't want to adopt your moth (it will only lay more eggs that will turn into er... those things whose name I shudder at). But I wanted to stop in and check out your moth photos and say how gorgeous he/she is. Courtney must have been so happy to witness the whole metamorphosis from larva to adult. I wish I were brave enough to do that for my kids. Maybe the husband will undertake it as a personal project (as long as its out of my sight).

The Luedtke Family said...

I would suggest notifying a 4th grade, 5th grade, or middle school science teacher in your area if interested in the chrysalis and moth. Someone should be studying that whole process. Maybe Courtney's classroom would benefit from the science lesson with the pictorial story.

Grandma G said...

LiEr... I don't think Courtney was as excited about this project as I was. Ha!

Good suggestions, Becky!