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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Phyllodesma Americana

I was sitting in my dorm lounge working on Geology with my friend Catherine, as one often does on a Tuesday afternoon, when we noticed a moth caught between the window and the screen. The window had been closed while the moth had been resting on the screen and was now caught in the sun baking to death. We get a lot of moths getting caught like this, but they had until now been mostly small or disappointedly average moths. I went to open it and let it go when I saw
1) It was gorgeous and looked like a leaf
2) It looked very very dead. 
So I did what any aspiring entomolgist would do- I poked it with my finger and watched in dismay as it thwacked down onto the windowsill. I picked it up by the abdomen, and carried it back to show Catherine and later to pin it. As I pointed to it's marking the antannae suddenly shot up and it began vibrating its wings as though trying to take off. The culprit was an almost fully detacthed hindwing. I have since put Prince Albert in my largest net cage- which I have deemed the Can for it's cylindrical shape- where he will spend the rest of his days as Prince Albert in a Can.
Note the gorgeous reddish brown color and leaf pattern on both forewing and hindwing.

His fluffy and unibrow like antenna remind me of a grumpy Frida Kahlo.

Here you can appreciate his chunky body and fluffy head, as well as the characteristic snout. This snout is a vestigial mouthpart that actually makes adults incapable of eating. :C

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