September 15, 2012

close up of a moth with brown, tan and white markings

This month I want to talk about a new species of moth that we have never flown in the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing. The Bulls Eye Silkmoth (Gonimbrasia zambesina) is a moth species native to Africa. While a lot of moths are known for producing cocoons around their pupae such as the Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus), the Bulls Eye Silkmoth develops into a pupa without ever forming a cocoon. This lack of a cocoon actually means that in the lab we have to treat them very differently than we would normally to set up cocoons. We received 30 of these individuals in a shipment sent on August 20, and the first two individuals just emerged today as I am writing this note. So if you would like to see a new moth species never flown before in the Butterfly Wing stop out some time this month; you might just get an opportunity so see one in person.