Adam Gundlach, who coordinates land management activities in the Lakeshore Nature Preserve, started this week "tinkering" with iNaturalist. One of his first posts is this spectacular image of a Cecropia moth, munching its way along a young black walnut (Juglans nigra) stalk and leaves. The larvae of the moth, shown here, typically go through five larval stages (instars). This one on the photos is likely in its 4th or 5th instar. All the black hair of the first stage has disappeared, and the larva is adorned with striking blue, yellow and orange tubercles. It will soon reach maturity and spin a large brown cocoon in which it will overwinter. The giant silk moth, the Cecropia moth, will emerge next year in the early summer. See more information at Wikipedia. Thank you, Adam, for sharing these photos.
Gisela Kutzbach and contributors