The first of our Cecropia Moth caterpillars, nicknamed Mothra, is in the process of spinning her winter home, a fine silken enclosure. With the gossamer threads, she has woven several branches together, forming a V-shaped structure to secure the cocoon.

Cecropia Moth Cocoon detail 2 copyright Kim Smith

Surrounding leaves, like a blanket, are arranged around the cocoon and also secured with silk threads. The house is quite large, about four inches long and an inch and a half in diameter. As you can see from the Instagram, she has room enough to easily move within the cocoon. When completed, she will pupate within the case. Come next spring, Mothra will emerge from her winter home ready to mate and deposit eggs of the next generation. The circle of life continues.Cecropia Moth Cocoon detail copyright Kim Smith

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Mothra spinning her winter home, from the inside out 🌻

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Cecropia Moth Cocoon copyright Kim SmithCecropia Moth caterpillar copyright Kim Smith
cecropia-moth-male-copyright-kim-smithMothra’s Dad


  1. Kim,

    You are super observant here and study and wisdom of this natural circle of life is very good and quite beautiful and interesting we just have to take the time to slow it to see! Thank you beautiful colors hand held 🙂 Dave & Kim 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So, I think moving air ruined the chances for most of my hatchlings, as I had my hands full too soon and hadn’t done enough research. I’m pretty sure the A/C and an unsealed container are to blame for initial failure. Now I have four caterpillars, eating three different leaves which are not exactly right. Elm, I read later really is okay, I have one guy eating crab apple and I guess that’s okay because it’s a “fruit tree”…? Two of them are eating maple and, turns out, I guess it’s red maple which is not recommended. I was reading about Polyphemus moths at first and didn’t find a good Cecropia site until after the little ones were eating. One of the maple fellows is in his second instar and lovely and voracious. The other maple fellow frequently wanders away and lives on, but has only lightly munched every leaf in the box and has barely grown. I find him on the bottom every day, nearly dead, replace him on his leaves, mist and by day’s end he’s okay again. I put him in his own jar today with only maple. My leaves are in a jar of water with holes poked in the lid so they stay fresh roughly three days but no ‘pillars can drown. After the A/C revelation I moved them to my humid laundry room and I now mist a couple times throughout the day. Any thoughts on my runt or what to expect from not quite the right diet? Think they’ll make it?? :/


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