Aug 26 2007
11:11 am
By: WhitesCreek
Spicebush Swallowtail

This is an average sized one with an assymetrical tail. I'd say it's about 3 inches across. I chased another one that was an inch larger but without much luck.

So how do scientists know these things taste bad anyway?


Delicious moths? Some observations

There is a small white moth out here in the West Roane woods. Sometimes there is an explosion of them, and hundreds, even thousands, will seek the modest light of our window. Two years ago in the springtime there was such an explosion.

A raccoon came to our porch that night and stuffed moths in his mouth for hours, a little more than one per second. I stayed awake and watched. He would just reach out into the air and invariably grab a moth. He appeared ambidextrous and never seemed to miss. At the end his middle was visibly bigger.

He (or another raccoon) came back the next night and did the same, until all the moths were eaten. He came back one more night, hung around for a while, then left hungry.

We didn't see more than one or two of those moths in the window for two years. Then this spring came another little white moth boom.

This time a bobcat sat on the porch just on the other side of the glass, catching and eating the moths. The bobcat was not as efficent at snatching the moths from the air as the raccoon had been--having hands seems to help--but still did the job. After a couple of nights, no more little white moths.

They must be delicious. :)

-- OneTahiti

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