This beautiful moth has been making its presence known all over Ohio this past month including in my own back yard! The photo doesn't do it justice but this is one of the larger moths I've found - not quite as large as a luna but much larger than most other moths (roughly the length of an index finger).
The Giant Leopard Moth spends the winter as a 'giant woolly-bear' type caterpillar black, fuzzy, with reddish/orange rings, it overwinters from August - May (depending on location); it is now pupating and transforming into the beautiful moth shown above.
These common moths can be found in woody edges, meadows, pastures, parks, etc. the caterpillars are not picky eaters and enjoy what we consider 'weeds' and many other broad leaved plants with woody stems.
Great summer activity -
Go out one summer evening and hang a white sheet from a tree, have a flashlight shine on it for a few hours and see what moths you can attract to your own yard!
Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.