NMW: Think Pink! The Rosy Maple Moth

Dryocampa rubicunda the 'green striped mapleworm' feeds gregariously in its early life stages
Have you ever seen a moth that was so bright pink that you thought it couldn't possibly be real?  I have been seeing beautiful adult rosy maple moths at our porch light from time to time but had not come across caterpillars before Kiri brought these to my attention (she is on a roll!)  I took one home and provided it with fresh Acer rubrum leaves until if pupated:
 You can clearly see the outline of feathery antennae on the head (right) side of the pupa.  For some reason it is still always a little shocking to me when pupae move around - this guy was particularly wiggly!

The adult is pretty small for being in the family of 'giant silk moths' but what it lacks in size it makes up for in vibrant colors!  The heavy bodied moths tend to sit pretty still when at rest; when one of my neighbors asked 'is that really real?' prodding the moth into movement wasn't all that convincing.

They are indeed real, and just one of the many species of fascinating moths that can be found right here in Delaware!
 Dryocampa rubicunda


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