Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Silk Moth Cocoon

What is it? Polyphemus Moth cocoons are generally not so elongated and hang from the branch of the food plant. Luna Moths incorporate leaves in their cocoons, which are hidden in the litter on the ground rather than attached to the host plant as this one is. The Columbia Silk Moth prefers to feed on American Larch in the east and this pupal covering is a long way from the nearest larch. Based on how the cocoon is attached along the length of this Boxelder twig I'm going to go with a Cecropia Moth or Robin Moth (Hyalophora cecropia). Time will tell ...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Winter Stonefly (Taeniopteryx sp.)

Also called Willowflies, these small insects (about 15 mm long) aren't bothered by cold weather and I have seen them emerge as early as mid-March.

Their larger cousins the Common Stoneflies will be out and about in a few weeks. Stonefly nymphs are found under rocks and debris in fast moving well oxygenated water.