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monster moth

monster moth
Photo Information
Copyright: Bob Harrison (BobH) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 40 W: 8 N: 192] (650)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-06-28
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon PowerShot S2 IS
Exposure: f/8, 1/60 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Lepidoptera: Butterflies and Moths [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-04-16 3:20
Viewed: 7127
Points: 10
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Here's the promised follow-up from my archives, the side view of the monster moth of my previous post. Read that previous note for complete details. The body length was at least 3 cm, so the wing span would have been... ...huge. It didn't move and didn't offer to open those wings, so all I have is this side view.

I would welcome any comments about classification, especially anything about those spectacular antennae. If you want a better look at them, the previous post is a head on supermacro shot.

tech notes- slight cropping and rotation, longer non-macro shot with built-in flash, some shadow/highlight adjustment to improve detail, lots of brightness and contrast tweaking, two step sharpening, no color adjustment

note added 4-17-09

This obviously matches the major features- size, eyespots, heavy hairy bodies.

from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturniidae)

The Saturniidae, commonly known as saturniids, are among the largest and most spectacular of the moths. They form a family of Lepidoptera, with an estimated 1,300 to 1,500 described species worldwide[1]. The Saturniidae include such Lepidoptera as the giant silkmoths, royal moths and emperor moths.
Adults are characterized by large size, heavy bodies covered in hair-like scales, lobed wings, reduced mouthparts, and small heads. They lack a frenulum but the hind wings overlap the forewings, producing the same effect of an unbroken wing surface[2]. These moths are sometimes brightly colored and often have translucent eyespots or "windows" on their wings. Sexual dimorphism varies by species, but males can generally be distinguished by their larger, broader antennae. Most adults possess wingspans between 1 to 6 inches (2.5 to 15 cm), but some tropical species, such as the Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas), may boast quite incredible wingspans of up to 12 inches (30 cm). Together with certain Noctuidae (chiefly Calpinae and Catocalinae, such as the genera Ascalapha, Erebus or Thysania), the Satyridae thus contain the largest Lepidoptera, and indeed some of the very largest insects alive today.

Miss_Piggy, LordPotty, tuslaw has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To papajoehermit: book?BobH 1 04-16 20:19
To tuslaw: inside viewBobH 1 04-16 19:46
To LordPotty: a hitBobH 1 04-16 19:42
To anel: thanksBobH 1 04-16 08:01
To Miss_Piggy: detailsBobH 1 04-16 07:53
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-04-16 5:13]
  • [+]

Hello Bob,
Very interesting moth, well photographed. Unfortunately I cannot help with ID. Amazing creature, really!
Best regards

Hello Bob
Here I can definitely say: This is a sheer delight. The fine details captured of this monster moth is really stunning and the close-up pose just splendid. I always like an image where the subject is so close to the screen like this one. Maybe it is the fact that my eye-sight is not 100%, but the display so close has some kind of specialty for me. The details of this great "monster" is photographed with such preciseness. I really want to congratulate you on this posting. It is real classy. Focus, sharpness and framing is great and presented in a most delightful manner. Thanks for sharing.
Kind regards

Hi Bob,
Another impressive shot of this huge moth.
I've been looking around,and I think what you have here is most likely a Polyphemus Moth of the Saturniidae (giant silk-moths) family.
There seems to be a bit of variation in colour and pattern within the species,but I did find one or two that looked just like this (Google image search)
If the wings were open we would see large purple eye spots on the upper forewing.
Not much info about the antennae yet though.
You can see the Wiikipedia article on Antheraea polyphemus here

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2009-04-16 18:59]
  • [+]

Fantastic image Bob,
Really like the fine detail you managed to capture. The colors are gorgeous, I only wish it would have given you a glimpse of what was inside those huge wings. Great job!! TFS.

Adding to the previous comment on this "Monster Moth". When is your next book coming out on nature photography? It would be a best seller for sure!

JoeGoff, Louisville, KY

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