25 July 2012

NMW: Carpenterworm moth

It's National Moth Week, and while Urban Dragon Hunters is primarily about dragonflies, we are keen on many other insect taxa as well. Why not try to feature a cool moth every day this week?

For Day 3, we don't have a photo of an adult moth, but only the shell of a couple of pupae. Note the ruler in the photo -- those are centimeters. These empty pupae were extracted from holes in the base of a hardwood tree that were at least the diameter of my thumb.  They belong to Prionoxystus robiniae, the Carpenterworm Moth (Hodges #2693).

The larvae of these moths take two to four years to mature into caterpillars up to three inches long.  As you may have gathered, they feed on the sapwood of trees. I was fascinated by them, and wrote a post on another blog at the time I found them. For the curious, here is what the adults look like.

Photo by Julie Craves. All rights reserved.

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