Tuesday, August 09, 2011
Behold, the mighty sphinx (moth)
For several days now, I have been checking mornings and evenings, and sometimes in between, for the emergence of the moth that was once my tomato hornworm. This morning, there he was! A Carolina Sphinx moth, Manduca sexta.
I managed to pry him off of the screen top and he settled on the floor of the cage with his wings so beautifully spread to reveal the orange spots.
Looking a bit disheveled hanging onto the edge for a close up shot. See those little claws? He has just as powerful a grip now as he did when he was a velcro-footed caterpillar.
I brought him with me to a meeting at the arboretum, showed him off to anyone who was interested, and then released him. I thought at first he would simply fly away. His wings fluttered a bit, but in the end, he only made it as far as one guy's pants leg. So I picked him off and set him gently on a tree branch. He will leave when he's ready.
I have labeled all my posts for this individual as Tomato Hornworm, so if you click on the label, you can go back and read about his whole life, all the way back to when he was just an egg!