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

Bostjan Dvorak Photo Gallery

The images below come from Germany, provided by and are copyright (c)2004 Bostjan Dvorak. They have been posted here by permission. Thanks!

The Actias artemis is a Japanese moth, which you'll find in Japan, but also Korea, China, Malaysia and India. The following images will give you more of a clue of what they look like exactly.

Photos of Actias Artemis from the Amur River. Below are pictured a female, male, and a beautiful shot of pairing adults. The last 4 shots a of a freshly emerged male, inflating his wings.

Actias Artemis larvae in various instars.

This is an Actias Gnoma (of japanese origin) 3rd instar larva, fed on european hornbeam (Carpinus Betulus); it is related to the american Actias Luna and Actias Truncatipennis...

These are some photos of an Callosamia Promethea, 1st instar larvae, eating collectively in a typical position on a tulip tree leaf (Liriodendron Tulipifera) Photos 1-8 are shown below in sequence.

You will notice a movement of a larva eating on the end of the leaf and then returning behind into the group and pushing the next larva, which then moves and begins to eat... It is this way that they manage to grow as a whole group.

Callosamia Promethea larvae (with two instars living together) and a very nice shot of a Promethia adult female.

These are pictures of very colorful Hyalophora Cecropia larvae.

Another nice shot of a female Cynthia adult.

These pictures are of Antheraea Polyphemus larva in various instars. Pictures 1, 2 and 3 show a freshly molted larvae, with its skin visible right behind it.

This is an Antheraea Yamamai male (left), and a female (right) from Slovenia. It is a relative of the Polyphemus moth and is very similar except that instead of the cocoons, the ova overwinter...

The pictures below are of the Deadhead (Death's Head) Hawkmoth's larvae (Acherontia atropos). It's a migrant species throughout Europe, coming each year from tropical Africa - and sometimes even reaching Iceland...

The larvae are of spectacular beauty. The adult moths are thieves - their only food is honey from beehives and, in order to protect themselves against the attacks, they make a characteristic noise imitating the warning sound of the bee queen...

Among the larvae you can find some of the brown variety - which occur approximatively 1:1000 in nature.

This interesting shot shows both varieties in a pseudo-mirror pose.

Here's a great emerging sequence, and text to further describe the species...

Their pupae can lay at some 50 cm of depth under ground, in a well formed subterranean chamber made by the larva just before pupation; as already said, the pupa of this species is not frost-resistant, but can survive temperatures about 1*C and generally goes in a diapause when exposed to temperatures under 15*C (and lower) in the fall, which lasts for 6 or 8 months (with a maximum of 2 years). It generally only can survive under mediterranean conditions. A lot of research has been done about this species' way of life and its regular migrations to Europe - but many questions still remain unsolved.

Adult moths are strong flyers (reaching some 80 or even 100 km/h) and - what is unusual for hawk-moths (and all butterflies) - specially strong "walkers", too; this is a special adaptation to their thief-like life as honey searchers in beehives and holes of other related honey gathering insects. As already mentioned, the moth produces sounds imitating the queen bee when entering a hive. However, a squeaking noise is evoked by any kind of attack (or, sometimes, by a collision with a tree or wall); it is quite loud and can be heard from far away... When grabbed by someone at flight, it doesn't just fly away, as other moths would do - it flies against the agressor in order to confuse it, squeaking as loud as possible and getting so "mad" that it is almost impossible to catch it... - in order to hide its peaceful nature of a butterfly.

Even how they make love is somewhat unusual, when compared with relatives and other moths; the most frequent position is "a tergo" with the male sitting on the back of the female, the "normal" "missionary" one occurring rather rarely... Often they mate belly to belly, too, falling on the ground. They usually remain together for 4 hours, but it may last only 20 minutes - or a whole day.

The female begins to lay the eggs generally after a certain period of days or weeks - depending on the day length of the last larval stage; if it exceeds 14 hours (as is mostly the case in northern latitudes at summertime), the moths are not fertile until they feed for several weeks; this is how the migrations seem to be limited and organized...

This is the Oleander Hawkmoth (Daphnis nerii), a particularly beautiful green sphingid, which migrates from tropical Africa and reaches speeds of up to 160 km/h! These pictures were shot on the Adriatic coast in October of 2004.

This sequence show the mature larvae shedding its final skin to become a "pre-pupae", a "grub-like" phase which is neither larva nor pupa.

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