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Unexpected Find


Ratmosphere
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Definitely looks like some sort of Saturniid. It's not likely to be anything under Hyalophora since it's so small. If the cocoon is composed of a single, thin layer of silk, it might be a luna moth. If it's double-walled, tough, and thick, it might be a polyphemus or one of the other medium-sized, cocoon-forming moths in the family Saturniidae.

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Definitely looks like some sort of Saturniid. It's not likely to be anything under Hyalophora since it's so small. If the cocoon is composed of a single, thin layer of silk, it might be a luna moth. If it's double-walled, tough, and thick, it might be a polyphemus or one of the other medium-sized, cocoon-forming moths in the family Saturniidae.

He mentioned that it was still hanging from a branch, so it's almost certainly a Polyphemus. Lunas crawl to the ground before spinning a cocoon. The color and texture of the silk and the fact that it's difficult to get open also suggest polyphemus.

 

I would not recommend trying to cut the cocoon open if it still has to overwinter. Just be patient.

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