Santa Clarita and Northern Los Angeles County Area
Butterfly and Moth Site

Mendocino Silk Moth [Saturnia mendocino] Adult Insect Images

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Freshly emerged male. See the
video page.

A freshly emerged female, as she goes throught the process of inflating her wings. See the time lapse video.

About an hour after emerging and inflating her wings, she starts calling. The scent organ can be seen protruding from the end of her abdomen.

This male has his wings clipped in place over his back to reduce the damage during captive mating.

I was lucky enough to catch this male just as he popped the lid on his pupal case. It made a very audible cracking sound, similar to biting a crunchy piece of popcorn which got my attention. Otherwise he may have gone through this whole process only 2 feet from me and I never would have seen it. After opening the case, he crawled out a few millimeters, and then began oozing a clear fluid from his head area - an enzyme intended to soften the cocoon "glue" and allow him to escape with minimal damage.

In this case, he was already removed from the cocoon, but nature follows it programmed instructions anyway. He paused for about 5 minutes (while the cocoon would be dissolving) and then continued to crawl out. I used a Q-Tip mounted to a stand for him to cling to while he inflated his wings. See the time lapse here: Mendocino video page.

This freshly emerged female image was taken on 4-17-2005

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