Thursday, May 07, 2009

Spike Trasnformed

Hi, I'm Spike!

Do you remember when I posted about this Cecropia silk moth last year? Alex found it on July 18th, 08. We did some reading up about it and decided to name him Spike (for obvious reasons), and keep him to observe his metamorphosis.

Well, he ate a lot and all the time. We used a dropper to put water on leaves for him and he would drink, and drink. He eventually shed one "skin" for another and grew bigger all the time.

Then the day finally came for him to spin his silk cocoon. Once inside he remained there for almost 10 months, with the winter months spent in a container in the bottom drawer of our fridge.
I find it so interesting that he lay completely immobile in his little hard shelled sarcophagus for so long.
Finally yesterday, May 06,09 Spike came out of his pupa stage to make his new debut. We were all so excited! We had watered, fed, and cared for this little life for so long and looked forward to seeing what he would look like when he reappeared.

Here he is sitting on his silk cocoon after making his exit.
And here he is a few minutes later. At this point his wings are still wet and his color dark green like the Persimmon leaves he fed on those long months ago.

Right now he is just hanging out to dry, literally. Once his wings have cured his colors will be more vibrant, deeper scarlet red and black, with pink/purple highlights. Like this one:
It's "just a moth" but it was so awesome to feed him, to watch him change and transform, spin his silk cocoon, and all the phases of his life cycle up to now.

Today he will be released. It is going to be so neat to watch him take flight to go and find his mate to pass on his bloodline for next year.

And that's the shortened story of Spike. =)


Ryan said...

What a great story! Congratulations to you and spike!

scrapper al said...

Welcome to the your new world Spike!

NikkiH said...

That is amazing! What a great experience for you guys!