Friday, July 04, 2008

Strange orange moth



My husband photographed this gigantic orange moth on a recent business trip. Thankfully, something this odd is usually pretty easy to identify on the internet. It didn't take long to find out that this is a Regal Moth, also known as Royal Walnut Moth, Citheronia regalis.



It would be odd enough if it were the size of a normal moth. But according to Wikipedia, this is the biggest moth north of Mexico. (That's weight, not wing span, though that's not shabby either.) In this lighter wide-angle view, you can compare him to the door hardware to see how large he is.

This was on the door of the hotel, so maybe he's a watch-moth. I know several people who would hesitate to open that door!

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Updated:
This one was found in Virginia, but they are at home anywhere in the east, I believe.

Submitted to the Friday Ark.

23 comments:

karl said...

that's huge and beautiful.

KFarmer said...

It is pretty :)

NCmountainwoman said...

I've never seen one, but they must be quite a sight to behold.

roosterhen said...

WOW! Cool moth. That larva in the link is pretty impressive, too. I'd think twice about picking one of those horny caterpillars off a plant with my bare hands!

robin andrea said...

That is a stunning moth. Where did Mr. Rurality photograph it?

Floridacracker said...

This moth is near and dear to me.
We once raised a hickory horned devil catepillar from tiny inch long new larva to giant scary looking 6 inch long caterpillar to pupa to moth.
The kids (and I) will never forget it.

The caterpillar is really more spectacular than the moth!

Wren said...

Impressive and unusual. Where do they live?

Rurality said...

This one was in Virginia, but I think they could be anywhere in the east.

Kerri said...

Wow...a beautiful moth! Reminds me of a halloween decoration :)

Cookie Jill said...

Holy Gucamole....it's not a moth...IT'S A BAT!

That guy is HUGE...I wouldn't have gone near him.

lisa said...

I would LOVE to see one of these! Very cool.

bevmdd said...

We live in Louisville, KY and we just saw our first Regal Moth in front of our garage! It was beautiful! The strange thing is last summer we had the privilege of having two Luna Moths (which are gorgeous and only last a week) on our garage! We can't wait to see what is out there next summer!

flrchyld said...

This Moth is amazing, we just discovered one here in South east Michigan, which makes it even more amazing, since it does not normally thrive here. (according to research) Assuming she is a female because she is so large, we too snapped the photo, my hubby is a new gardener, and thought maybe it was harmful and should be destroyed, not so, glad we did our research. I hope she finds her way to her natural habitat and are totally aware of the blessing to see her perched on our onion stem. She is very fuzzy and extremely large. 3" long and 2" wide (wings closed) thanks for posting, you helped us name as well as find all kinds of intersting information. :)

Christy said...

We just found one here in the St. Louis, Mo area. Beautiful moth.

Chrissy said...

We just found one of these on my rear drivers side window. It rode the whole 5 minute trip home. Curled up a little bit when we opened the door to get in the car, but held on tight while we drove. When it curled up, it looked like it had black hooks - 2 of them, side by side, on its rear end. I figured the caterpillar for this moth must be huge. Yes, in deed! A very cool and huge moth. Found your post by searching "large orange moth".

Jen said...

I just found and photographed one of those today at the grocery store where I work in Southern Illinois! It looked amazing! Thanks for helping me identify exactly what type of moth it was!

foxkat said...

My wife found one of these trapped in a dead spider's web in my shed, trying to free itself. I was able to put my hand under it and it grabbed on with its claw legs and I pulled it free. From then on, it chose to climb up and down my arms and hand. It was beautiful and gentle. I placed it into a LARGE margarita cup to photograph it, then set it free on my wall outside. It is still there a couple hours later. See http://qurl.org/o11 to appreciate the photos.

Tbuckley4635@hotmail.com said...

I found a rare orange moth and would like to identify it.

Anonymous said...

Just found one on the side of our firehous in Virginia it was about 5 inches long with wings expanded. Very rare but was beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Yea it was really awesome moth until it hit my windshield doing 60mph, but yes it was a very nice moth

Anonymous said...

There's one chilling on my car outside of work right now lol

Anonymous said...

I have just found one of these. It is beautiful

Shawnelle said...

I went to work one morning to discover one of these at the bottom of the door on the jam. It was HUGE, and had the most vibrant colors of orange, yellow, off-white, and brown. At first it scared me, but fear gave way to facination. Absolutely beautiful. Down here in Winnsboro, SC