Monday, May 12, 2008

The Lunas Are Back!

North Alabama has suffered through a drought the last two years, with last year's being "exceptional". Because of this the local insect populations appear to have had significantly declined. While this means less of the pesty bugs, it also means fewer sightings of the neater ones.

Like I hadn't see a Luna moth here at all in the last couple years, while in prior years there were always some showing up in the spring.

This year, rainwise, has been different. We're basically getting normal rainfall--though technically the drought is not yet broken--and starting to see some critters that I haven't seen for awhile. I was very happy to again see one of the Lunas:

The big, furry Cecropia moths Polyphemus moths have managed to show up each year, despite the drought, and this year was no different:

Cool, eh?

And I don't know what this guy is, but he's certainly pullin' in Shanghai off the shortwave...

Later this year we should be getting the big "rhinoceros" beetles. Stay tuned...


Lucas Oman said...

Beautiful photos! As a programmer and insect nerd, myself, I enjoyed this post. Just a note: what you called a Cecropia Moth is actually a Polyphemus Moth. You had the right family; Luna, Polyphemus, and Cecropia moths are all in the Saturniidae family (my favorite family of all Lepidoptera).

As for the beetle (Coleoptera), there, it looks like a member of the Cerambycidae family.

Marc said...

Thanks Lucas! I'm not a bug guy at all, but I really enjoy the variety (and size) of some of the critters we get down here in Alabama.