Saturday, October 02, 2010

Happy photo fun time!What IS this? A bird? A butterfly? A very ugly beanie baby? Wrong (it could be made into the last, I suppose, but the marketing possibilities seem limited). It's a polyphemus moth, known to scientists by his alias Antheraea polyphemus. I saw him hanging out on the wall next to the front door of my apartment building, chillin', doing his little Saturniidae thing (or not so little, actually--as a member of the 'giant silk moths,' he is by definition not small; his wingspan is about six inches, one of the largest moths in Missouri, a distinction he shares with the fluorescent green Luna moth). He's named for his eyespots, after the cyclops Polyphemus of Greek myth. Why are you calling this moth a HIM, Anne?, you ask. I'm not just assuming everything is male unless proven otherwise; actually sexual dimorphism in A. polyphemus is pretty obvious (ie, males and females look very different). Males have super-bushy antennae, the better to detect the pheromones of hot, nubile females in search of steamy moth action. This particular moth stayed with us for about two days, then disappeared. Either he left of his own volition or, more likely, he shuffled off this mortal coil with the assistance of one of the shady pigeons in the neighborhood. Actually, I've noticed some very interesting color patterns in the pigeons of St. Louis...ah, urban flora and fauna. Anyway, if he'd stuck around longer, I might have named him...Mothra.
And then there's urban fauna redux. Random shot into some guy's office on Pseudonymous Medical School's campus. This, obviously, is Uncle Buck.

1 comment:

Laura Long Helbig said...

Anne, I went to school with your Uncle Jim, grade school through high school I believe. I don't remember him as well as I wish I could. A lot happens in 40 years. I just want to let you know that I remember him from across the years. You have my sympathy.

Laura Long Helbig
McCluer High School Class of '70