California small Moth identification???

Sheri Moreau webmistress at
Fri Apr 24 20:59:20 EDT 1998

I had a wonderfully fuzzy caterpillar I was using as a demo to illustrate
moth and butterfly larvae a while back; it ate cecropia. Last Sunday, April
19th, after 34 days pupation in rather cool conditions, it emerged and
looked REALLY wierd, and I finally figured out, after some gentle poking
and prodding, that it was a very fat female moth about 3/4" long by 1/2"
wide, with vestigial wings. Pale off white color, moderately fuzzy. All
body, head virtually invisible, and 6 tiny legs. She has never left her
cocoon casing. I put her outside that night, and the next morning (Monday
20 April), a small, very nicely marked dark brown/light tan moth was with
her, wing span of about 1 1/8 inch. He stayed with her all day and evening,
and I left before dawn Tuesday morning for San Diego. By Wednesday night
when I returned, she had laid a huge fuzzy egg case, twice her own size,
and was crouched next to it. The egg case and the female are all clinging
to the cocoon. I did not capture and preserve the male, as they were still
together when I left for San Diego, and he was gone when I returned. 

Any ideas what this fascinating little moth may be? I'll raise at least a
few of the larvae to have an adult male (I'm building a "Moths of the
Central California Coast" collection), so in a few months/year I'll be able
to post a photo. Larvae photo is at the print shop right now....

TIA! Sheri, Carmel, California
webmistress at

More information about the Leps-l mailing list